SLA rejects request to relax restrictions on Jaffna fishing

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 October 2008, 18:27 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Jaffna district Commander Major. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri said that the current ban and restrictions imposed on fishing in Jaffna peninsula will not be relaxed, citing security reasons, in response to requests made in the special meeting held in Kaangkeasanthu'rai SLA High Security Zone Friday to explore into matters related to essential services of the peninsula, sources in Jaffna said.

Jaffna Government Agent, Regional Secretaries and departmental heads along with other representatives attended the meeting with the SLA Commander.

Fishermen society representatives requested relaxation of restrictions after explaining the woes of peninsula fishermen severely affected by the SLA ban and restrictions on fishing in Jaffna lagoon, and on the seas of Vadamaraadchi East and North.

The ban on fishing in the main fishing areas of Maathakal, Cheanthangku'lam and Kusumanthu'rai located between Kaangkeasanthu'rai and Kaarainakar will not be lifted in the near future for any reason, Commander Chandrasiri said.

The representatives also pointed that 70% of the fishermen in Kurunakar, Paasaiyoor, Kozhumpuththu'rai and Ariyaalai along the Jaffna lagoon depend solely on 'Chirakuvalai' fishing, and the ban has pushed the families to the brink of starvation.

Fishermen are now allowed to fish on the lagoon for unlimited distance on an alternative system where a group of them are permitted to go fishing one day per week, using sails on their boats, the Commander pointed out.

The representatives explained that this system is no use for the fishermen who depend entirely on 'Chirakuvalai' fishing.

The shortage of essential items caused by the Sea Tiger attack on two ships in Kaangkeasanthu'rai harbour was also discussed in the meeting, attendees of the meeting said.


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