NorthEast Governor visits Mannar
[TamilNet, Friday, 08 July 2005, 16:24 GMT]
Fishermen from Pesalai and Talaimannar in Mannar
district Friday complained to NorthEast Governor Mr.Tyronne Fernando that
deepening of the Palk Straits under the Sethusamudram Canal Project (SSCP)
would destroy the breeding ground of fish in the sea territory close to Mannar shore. Mr.Tyronne Fernando during his one-day visit to Mannar Friday
afternoon met with groups of fishermen in Pesalai and Talaimannar
separately and inquired about their grievances and difficulties, Mannar
district secretariat sources said.
Fishermen further brought to the notice of Mr.Tyronne Fernando that their
monthly catch in their sea territory is about 300 metric tonnes of fish most of
which is transported to south. Poaching by Indian fishermen and the
Sethusamudram Canal Project are certain to adversely affect their livelihood by reducing their catch, sources said.
Mr.Tyronne Fernando requested the fishermen to submit their grievances in
writing to enable him to take up the matter with the Sri Lanka's Foreign
Minister for further action, sources said.
Pesalai fishermen told the Governor that majority of them had fled from
their homes in their boats and sought refuge in South India following the
outbreak of violence in 1983. Since the signing of the ceasefire agreement
refugees are returning leaving their boats in South India. Most of the
sixty boats left in South India by them had been damaged.
In some instances
Indian authorities are refusing to release the boats that are in good
condition, Mannar fishermen pointed out to the Governor, sources said.
Fishermen requested the Governor to take immediate steps to provide them
with new boats and fishing nets to restore their livelihood.
Fernando promised to look into their request, sources said.
The Governor agreed to a request to establish 100-unit housing project for
Pesalai fishermen. He added he would take steps to construct fifty houses
in the first phase, sources said.
Mr.Tyronne Fernando agreed to release two hundred thousand rupees from
Governor's Fund to construct a new building for Talaimannar St.Mary's
School. He also said he would take steps through the Asian Development Bank
(ADB) funded NECORD to construct a new building for Pesalai St.Fatima School.
Mr.V.Visvalingam, Mannar Government Agent, Ms Stanley de Mel, Mannar
Divisional Secretary, Mr.T.M.Tennokon, Senior Superintendent of Police,
Vavuniya-Mannar, Mr.W.J.Premasiri, Mannar Headquarters Inspector,
Mr.L.B.A.Tennekon, Mannar SP and several officials participated in the
discussion, sources said.
At the commencement of his visit, Mr.Tyronne Fernando attended a discussion
with heads of government departments in Mannar in the district secretariat.
Not a single Vanni district parliamentarians including Tamil National
Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians and Minister Mr.Rishard Badiudin
participated in the conference presided by the Governor.