Jaffna fisher familes driven to abject poverty, starvation - NPFC
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 October 2006, 10:25 GMT]
The International community should immediately intervene to help prevent the fisher families in the Jaffna peninsula from being driven close to starvation due to the total ban on fishing enforced by government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) in the peninsula, said the President of Northern Province Fishermen Consortium (NPFC) Mr. C. Thavaratnam, in an urgent appeal made to the International Community Monday, in Jaffna.
Mr Thavaratnam detailed the urgent assistance required to help fisher families in Gurunagar, Vadamaradchy and in Jaffna islets.
- The GoSL total ban on fishing in Jaffna peninsula has seriously affected the lives of the 4000 fishermen and their 17,500 families forcing them to the brink of starvation.
- Fishermen of Gurunagar in Jaffna have been ordered by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to take home their 350 boats with outboard motors immediately from the seas.
- The SLA has ordered them to remove the engines and drown the 60 boats on their seas which remain inactive from 11 August with the eruption of clashes between the SLA and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
- Each of the above boats is worth Rs.450,000, a large investment for the fishermen who exist on small income from fishing.
- 150 fishing boats in the Vadamardchchy seas are exposed to the current monsoon winds and rain, and will soon become unusable .
- 115 fishing boats in the Manadaitivu too face the same risk of drowning as they are left unattended.
This dangerous situation has led to a loss of income to the fishermen and their families plunging them into poverty and hunger for no fault of their own. International Community need to urgently intervene to improve the situation, Thavaratnam appealed.