SLN harassment on the rise, say Jaffna Fisheries Officials

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 February 2006, 12:48 GMT]
Fishing boats, nets and other accessories belonging to more than hundred fishermen from Vadamaradchy North coastal villages were damaged by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) soldiers Sunday, Fisheries Union officials in Jaffna said. Fisheries union officials Monday morning handed over memoranda to several organizations in Jaffna urging them to take action to stop SLN from harassing the fishermen.

More than fifty representatives of the Jaffna fisheries union handed over the memoranda accusing the SLN of continued harassment of Jaffna fishermen to Jaffna based officials of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC), International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), and to the Jaffna Government Agent, K Ganesh, sources in Jaffna said.

In a press meet held by the Jaffna Consortium of Fisheries Union officials, the officials said more than 1800 fisher families in Jaffna district are unable to continue the fishing trade and face starvation due to the restrictions imposed by the Sri Lanka Navy.

Villages east of KKS harbor, Kerudavil, Athikovilady, Thondamanaru, Akkarai and Valvettiturai fishermen have been badly affected by the fishing ban imposed by the SLA from the 1st January 2006, fisheries officials said.

President of the Fisheries Consortium, K Sooriyakumaran, said that escalating incidents in Jaffna seas of SLN soldiers damaging fishing equipment and causing injuries to fishermen have alarmed fisheries officials. If the incidents do not stop soon, the membership have to organize widespread protest campaign and sustained struggle to highlight the hardships of fisher families, fisheries union president said.

 

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