Colombo sabotages Tamil fishermen understanding across Palk Strait

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 February 2014, 22:23 GMT]
Amidst an existing understanding between the fishermen societies of Eezham Tamils and Tamil Nadu fishermen, who met recently in Tamil Nadu, that Indian fishermen could engage in fishing in the Palk Strait till March 15 without hindrance, the navy of the occupying Sri Lanka has arrested 116 Tamil Nadu fishermen in the territorial waters of the Eezham Tamils within the past 12 days, news sources in Jaffna said. In the meantime, the Indian coast guard has detained 25 fishermen from the island, 20 Sinhalese from South and 5 Eezham Tamils, who were engaged in day and night fishing in the deep waters of the strait, sources in Tamil Nadu said.

In the first instance, SL Navy detained 87 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and seized 19 fishing vessels of them. Later, on 12th January, further 29 fishermen in 7 trawlers were detained. They were accused of entering the territorial waters of the island as well as engaging in fishing by deploying prohibited methods.

All the Tamil Nadu fishermen were jailed in Jaffna prison and were taken to Ooraaththu'rai (Kayts) Courts. The first group of Tamil Nadu fishermen were taken on 13th and their remand has been extended by 14 days.

The arrests sabotage the evolving mutual understanding between the fishermen communities across the Palk Strait, the fishermen society leaders in Jaffna told TamilNet.

The fishermen societies representing both the sides would be meeting again after March 15 to discuss the situation further.


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