Colombo barring Tamils from fishing along Adam's Bridge reef sparks protest

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 February 2018, 21:41 GMT]
More than one hundred Eezham Tamil families from Thalai-mannaar took to the streets on Monday protesting against the occupying SL Navy and SL Department of Wildlife for blocking them from fishing in their traditional territorial waters along Adam's Bridge reef and Thalai-mannaar. The SL Navy has forcefully chased away the fishermen on Sunday night and in the early hours of Monday stating that the SL Wildlife Department has barred fishing for the ‘protection’ of endangered birds. Occupying Colombo and its military are using ‘wildlife protection’ as a cover for militarisation, the fishermen questioned.

Thalaimannaar - Arippu
Detail of the coast facing the Gulf of Mannar that is being surveyed now, from Thalai-Mannaar Pier to Arippu. . [Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth. Legend by TamilNet]

The strategic part of Mannaar district, commanding both the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannaar as well as commanding the closest communication line with the Tamil Nadu coast, has become a hive of intense Sinhala militarisation and demographic changes in recent times.

The SL Navy and SL Army have seized thousands of acres of lands in Mannaar district for Sinhala militarisation.

At the same time, SL departments of Wildlife and Forest conservation have also been deployed to seize vast tracts of lands in the mainland under various pretexts after the end of the genocidal war on Eezham Tamils in 2009.

The SL Department of Wildlife is attempting to systematically undermine the territorial integrity of the Tamil homeland by subjecting vast tracts of coastal, lagoon and shallow waters from Chu'ndik-ku'lam in Jaffna to Mannaar.

The protesting Tamil fisher families also blamed the SL Navy for allowing Sinhala fishers from South to engage in fishing in the seas off Thalai-mannaar while selectively barring Tamil-speaking people from accessing their territorial sea.

The Tamil-speaking native people in Mannaar have been living harmony with their nature protecting the birds, the protesters said.

The SL Navy was attempting to block the fishermen not only from the reef but also from specific coastal spots near Thalai-mannaar Pier, they further said.


They have been sending appeals to all the concerned ministries and departments as well as the politicians representing the Vanni district. The protest comes as nobody was responding, they said.


The families decided to protest in front of the SL Police station and block the traffic along Thalai-mannaar - Mannaar road after their talks with SL Navy officials didn't produce any positive result, they said.

The protesters said they would go to the level of permanently blocking the traffic next time if the SL authorities and the SL Navy continued to ignore their demands.

Militarisation in Mannaar
While the territory under red circles mark the Sinhala military consolidation under Mahinda Rajapaksa seen as ‘pro China’, the coast under yellow circle mark the expansion of the consolidation started by Rajapaksa and continued by Ranil-Maithiri regime viewed as ‘pro USA’. New Delhi continues to have military-to-military relations with genocidal Sinhala military. The ultimate target is land and waters of Tamils in the Indian-Ocean. The places mentioned in the feature come under the yellow circle. [Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth. Legend by TamilNet]
SL coastal bases in North
Sri Lanka's large military establishments that choke Jaffna peninsula and threaten Indian security. Sinhala colonisation is carried out in places no 11, 13, 14, and 16. The locations: 1. High Security Zone, Valikaamam North, 2. Kaarainakar naval base, 3. Vallan, Pungkudutheevu, 4. Periyathu'rai and Saamiththoadda-munai, Delft (Key location for Kachchatheevu and Rameswaram), 5. Kunthavadi, Delft, 6. Thalai-mannaar, 7. Mannaar Fort, 8. Tha'l'laadi, 9. Poonakari Fort, 10. Elephant Pass, 11. Vettilaikkea'ni, 12. Naakarkoayil, 13. Ariyaalai East and the opposite sandbar Ma'n'niththalai, 14. Naavatkuzhi, 15. Ma'ndaitheevu,16. Jaffna city, 17. Kachcha-theevu and 18. Naachchik-kudaa. The innumerable small military posts and the newly planned cantonments in Vanni are not shown in the map. [Satellite Image courtesy: NASA, Visible Earth. Legend by TamilNet]

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