Pesalai fishermen protest against Navy restriction

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 February 2006, 17:29 GMT]
Several hundreds of fishermen held a sit-in-protest blocking the Talaimannar-Mannar main road at Pesalai bazaar Tuesday morning from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. demanding the immediate withdrawal of restriction imposed by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) on day and night fishing. The SLN has directed the fishermen to obtain pass for them and their fishing crafts and other related equipments before leaving the shore for fishing daily morning. The SLN has banned night fishing, fisheries sources said.

According to the SLN directive these fishermen should also subject themselves for examination, their boats and other related materials on their return in the evening, fisheries sources said.

Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan, and Mr.Vino Noaharathalingam, Wanni district parliamentarians, Rev.Fr.Vincent Patrick, Parish Priest, Divisional Secretary Ms Stanley de Mel, Mr.J.P.Julian, Assistant Director of Fisheries, Mr.Inkler Lee, monitor of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Mannar and the SLN official of the Sunny Village camp went to the site and conducted talks with the protesting fishermen, sources said.

Fishermen demanded that all restriction imposed on them for fishing should be withdrawn immediately. SLN officials finally agreed to lift the restriction of registering themselves and their vessels before leaving the shore and on return.

However regarding the withdrawal of the ban on night fishing, SLN officials said they have to obtain permission from the naval headquarters in Punawa in Madawachchiya, sources said.

The protest was called off around 11 a.m., fisheries sources said.


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