SL Navy backed purse-seiners pose grave threat to fishing ecosystem in Batticaloa North

[TamilNet, Saturday, 18 July 2020, 20:41 GMT]
The occupying SL Navy, with a large number of naval bases along the eastern coast of the occupied country of Eezham Tamils, has allowed Sinhala purse seiners to engage in the illegal fishing (churukku-valai) in the prohibited zone within seven to ten miles from the coast of Vaakarai in Batticaloa. Chairman of Kathirave'li Fisheries Society Murugiah Subramaniyam said the illegal fishing was destroying the fishing ecosystem as well as seriously threatening the livelihood of more than one thousand Tamil fisher families in Vaakarai. The families are dependent on their income from 15 karai-valaip-paadus (coastal drag net zones) along the stretch between Panichchang-kea'ni and Kathirave'li, he said. The poachers are also using dynamite bombs for fishing.

Predominantly Sinhala Navy is allowing a majority of Sinhala fishers through its naval base at Ilangkaith-thu'rai (SLNS Lankapatuna) located north to Batticaloa.

Vaakarai is located in Koa'raip-pattu North division.

SL Navy and fisheries department officials were collaborating in the exploitation. Despite repeated complaints to SL Navy and Divisional Secretariat, no action has been taken to restrict the poachers, according to Mr Subramaniyam.

More than one hundred purse seine boats of the Sinhala fishers are involved in the poaching. A few Tamil and Tamil-speaking Muslim fishers were also among them, he said.

If the large-scale poaching is allowed to continue unchecked, the fishing ecosystem along the coast between Ilangkaith-thu'rai and Kathirave'li would be destroyed within a few years, the fisheries society chairman said.

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CNBs in Eastern Naval Area
There are 13 so-called ‘Commissioned Navy Bases’ in the Eastern Naval Area of the SL Navy [Image courtesy:]
The SL Navy has divided the entire island into 7’ Naval Areas’.

The Eastern Naval Area (ENA) covers the longest eastern belt of the occupied country of Eezham Tamils and consists of 13 Commissioned Naval Bases (CNBs). The ENA is the largest establishment within the SL Navy in the entire island.

Among the 13 so-called CNBs in the ENA of the SL Navy, eleven bases are situated in the strategic Trincomalee district. ‘SLNS Gotabaya’ is the CNB in Mullaiththeevu district to the north of Trincomalee district and ‘SLNS Kashyapa’ is the other single CNB, situated in Vaakarai of Batticaloa district to the south.

‘SLNS Ranweli’ at Pulmoaddai, ‘SLNS Walagamba’ at Thiriyaay, ‘SLNS Vijayaba’ at Nilaave’ li, ‘SLNS Mahaweli’, ‘SLNS Tissa’, Naval Military Academy and ‘SLNS Dockyard’ surrounding the harbour of Trincomalee, ‘SLNS Gokanna’ at Ki’n’niyaa, ‘SLNS Vidura’ and ‘SLNS Parakumba’ at Champoor, ‘SLNS Lankapatuna’ at Thoappoor, are the commissioned SL Navy cantonments dotting the coast of the Trincomalee district.

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