Gurunagar fishermen banned

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The SLA has stopped fishermen in Gurunagar in Jaffna town from putting out to sea following the Thursday night attack by the Liberation Tigers on military positions in the area said sources in Jaffna.

However, fishermen in the neighbouring Pashaiyoor and Columbuthurai were permitted to set out to sea after 8 a.m. in the morning.

Sources said that inmates of the transit camp in the Ceynor building on the Gurunagar coast have not got their rations since yesterday as civilians have been banned from entering the area following the attack on Thursday night.

People who return from the Vanni by sea to resettle in their villages in Jaffna are housed in the Ceynor camp until they are screened.

A Sri Lanka Navy team came to inspect the Gurunagar and adjoining areas today, said residents.

Some unconfirmed reports said that this coastal area might be handed over to the Navy soon.

Meanwhile, the army has put up a notice in Jaffna town's 'Sinnakadai' market that only fish mongers who have the army's permission can sell fish there.

The notice specifically stipulates that no fish from the islands, Paashaiyoor and Columbuthurai should be sold in the market.

This has affected traders from other areas who sell fish in the Sinnakkadai market said sources.

No one is aware of the reason for the rule.

The impoverished fishing community are reliant on their ability to put to sea and access to the fish markets to survive. Hence restrictions which affect these cause severe hardship.

Fishing familes affected by the ban are entitled to dry rations, according to the governement's regulations. If these fail to be distributed, starvation often results in the fishing villages.


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