SLA blocks displaced fishermen's return

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 October 2002, 17:38 GMT]
Thirty two displaced fishermen who were returning Monday morning from Vanni to resettle in Valvettithurai (VVT) town in the Jaffna peninsula were not allowed to land and ordered to turn back to Vanni by Sri Lanka Army soldiers, said sources. The fishermen have been living in Vanni for the past seven years.

The Sri Lanka Army said recently that displaced fishermen would be allowed to return.

A spokesman for local fisheries cooperation said that the displaced families were returning following a decision taken at a conference held at the office of civil administration of the 52-4 Brigade.

The SLA had said previously that those displaced could come by sea with their boats and fishing gear after informing the security establishment and also they should arrive before noon.

Accordingly the fishermen arrived in eight boats Monday morning around six from Vanni region, the spokesman said.

Hundreds of fisher families fled from the coastal town of Valvettithurai to Vanni in 1996, when the Sri Lanka Army launched a big offensive and captured the northern peninsula.

 

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