SLA permits work on Pt. Pedro landing points

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 December 2003, 13:56 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army gave permission on Friday to deepen fisheries landing points on the coast of three villages close to Pt. Pedro town in Jaffna. Soldiers from the SLA’s 52-4 Brigade worked with local fishermen Friday to clear the coral rock clogged micro breakwaters. “We do not have a war to fight now. Therefore would like to engage in development activities such as this”, Col. K. S Ratnayake, the commander of the brigade told TamilNet.

The Asian Development Bank funded project under the Northeast Community Restoration Development (NECORD) project to restore the traditional landing points on Jaffna’s Vadamaradchi coast had been long stymied due to SLA’s stalling and obstructions.

Work on deepening the landing points began Friday at Supparmadam, Sakkottai and Inparutty.

Fisheries societies and the Federation of fisheries societies of Vadamaradchi boycotted a meeting called by the 52-4 Brigade on Thursday to discuss the problem.

Spokesmen for the federation and societies said that they did not see any point in discussions with the SLA as long as the military remained adamant on fundamental issues affecting the livelihoods of the fisher folk of Vadamaradchi.

The SLA’s decision to allow work on the three landing points near Pt. Pedro is consequent to the boycott, fisheries federation officials said.

The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Jaffna also took the matter into consideration following Thursday’s boycott.

SLMM’s head of District in Jaffna, Mr. U. C. F Pjornfors was present at the worksite where SLA personnel and fishermen were taking coral rocks out of the micro breakwaters to deepen these for mooring boats.

As part of its people friendly policy, the 52-4 Brigade would distribute special food parcels to fisher folk to mark Christmas on 22 December, Col. Ratnayake told TamilNet’s Jaffna correspondent.

 

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