Rights Group inquires into fishermen's pass system

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 September 2005, 02:27 GMT]
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) Wednesday began its inquiry into complaints that Sri Lankan government security forces has again introduced the compulsory pass system for the fishermen of Vadaramaradchchi division in Jaffna district for fishing in northern sea. Mr.Rohitha Priyatharsana, Jaffna regional co-ordinator of the HRCSL accompanied by his Investigating Officer Mr.T.Surenthirarajah visited Point Pedro and Munai area in Vadamaradchchi north and recorded statements from fisheries co-operative societies' officials, sources said.

HRCSL begins inquiry into Vadamaradchchi fishermen complaints

Jaffna HRCSL officials Wednesday evening met with key representatives of the Munai fisheries society who had been allegedly threatened by the security forces for openly defying the compulsory pass system, HRCSL sources said.

Fisheries societies' officials requested the HRCSL officials to make alternate arrangement to go fishing by surrendering their national identity cards (NIC) to soldiers manning checkpoints in coastal areas instead of obtaining a new pass. This system is being implemented throughout Sri Lanka except in Jaffna district at present, HRCSL sources said.

Vadamaradchchi fisheries society officials have brought to the notice of the HRCSL officials that migrant fishermen from the south of the Sri Lanka are allowed to fish in northern sea without any restriction, HRCSL sources said.

 

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