EPDP men violate human rights – ITAK chief candidate Remediyas

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 August 2009, 14:16 GMT]
“Minister Douglas Devananda’s men are intimidating the fishermen in Jaffna that the ban on fishing will be imposed again if they vote for Ilankai Thamizh Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) in Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election and this is an obvious violation of human rights,” Mudiyappu Remediyas, the principal candidate of ITAK, said in the press conference held Tuesday in ITAK office in Jaffna.

“The government imposed the fishing ban in Jaffna during the war saying that it was necessary for security reasons. But when Poonakari was occupied the fishing restriction was relaxed gradually,” Remidiyas said.

“But Douglas Devananda now goes about saying that it was he who was responsible in lifting the fishing ban. What did he do to the victimized fishermen during the last 3 years of war?,” he asked.

“Having done nothing to appease the hunger of the fisher folks Douglas Devananda now comes to them asking for their votes,” he said.

Mudiyappu Remediyas further said that Douglas Devananda’s Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) men were forcing the fishermen in the islets to sell their catch only to them and that too at low prices and that they make a lot of money by exporting it to Colombo.

“This is a fact that could be verified from the fishermen in the islets,” Remediyas said.

“The fisheries societies in Jaffna had recently requested President’s Advisor Basil Rajapakse to allow them to send fish in coolers to Colombo when he met their representatives in Jaffna Public Library,” he further said.

“But Basil Rajapakse, instead of granting their requests, had asked them to send their fish in the coolers that he will send from Colombo and this shows his intention to monopolize the fishing business in the peninsula,” he added.

The fisheries societies, however, sent their fish in two coolers to Colombo but the coolers were not allowed to return to Jaffna and were kept blocked for nearly 22 days, Remediyas told in the press conference.

The fisheries societies have lost interest in sending fish to the South after this incident, he added.


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