SLA lays down new condition for NECORD work

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 October 2003, 16:54 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army Sunday told the Vadamaradchi north fisheries co-operatives representatives that they could deepen the 26 fisheries landing points on the Vadamaradchi coast but only under their supervision, fisheries sources said.

SLA officials told the representatives of fisheries societies from Kerudavil to Thumpalai east in Vadamaradchi north, at a conference held at the Point Pedro SLA brigade headquarters Sunday morning, that the coral reef removed when deepening the landing points should be disposed of without causing inconvenience to the SLA's coastal sentry points.

However, after the conference fisheries representatives said that the SLA has not clearly stated when they could commence work on deepening the landing points.

The Jaffna district secretariat has already allocated necessary funds for the project from the North East Community Organization for Restoration and Development (NECORD) funds, with the support of the Asian Development Bank.

But due to SLA's refusal the project has not been implemented upto now, sources said.

When the fisheries societies started work on the project, the SLA stopped it, saying permission had not been obtained from the SLA officials. However, the fisheries societies said the Divisional Secretary had already written to the SLA about the work and permission had been obtained.

Protesting the SLA's stand, fisheries societies defied the ban and attempted to start work on the project. However, with the intervention of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and local parliamentarians, the work was stopped after the SLA said they would call a conference to discuss the issue.

At that conference, the SLA's brigade commander in Point Pedro agreed to allow the work to continue. However, the SLA's Jaffna district headquarters overruled that decision and denied permission again, putting the project in jeopardy.


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