SLN targets fishermen again in Mullaiththeevu seas

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 August 2007, 16:17 GMT]
Two fishermen fishing on Naayaaru seas in Mullaiththeevu district narrowly escaped death when two Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Dvora gunboats fired at the fishermen Sunday around 5:30 a.m., and kept firing for more than 30 minutes, fisheries sources in Mullaiththeevu said. S. Thapenthiram, 42, the father, and his son T. Selvam, 21, managed to swam ashore without sustaining any injuries but severely exhausted .

Eleven fishermen in five boats, including the above two, fishing on Naayaaru sea Sunday morning, having cast their nets in the sea, nearly a mile from the shore, were waiting for the catch in their stationary boats, when the attack happened, according to the complaint made to Mullaiththeevu Fisheries Co-operative Societies Federation (MFCSF).

SLN gunboats were seen close to Naayaa'ru, Chemmalai coasts Sunday around 4:10 p.m Sunday.

"When we were waiting in our boats we heard the SLN gun boats. The others started their engines and raced to the shore. Our boat failed to start and the SLN soldiers opened fire on us but we managed to swim ashore. The marines destroyed our fishing boat and nets completely," Thapenthiram, said in his complaint.

"The eleven fishermen have lost their valuable nets. Our fishermen are undergoing severe economic hardships, and are risking their lives to scrape a living. But the SLN continues to target the fishermen and keep destroying their fishing equipments," the president of MFCSF said.


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