Fishermen appeal for elimination of SLA Pass system
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 January 2004, 04:51 GMT]
Vadamarachchi North fisheries societies in Jaffna district appealed to the Sri Lanka Army to replace the existing army pass system by recognizing the fisheries identity cards issued by the Department of Fisheries. The appeal was made at a conference held last week at the 52-4 brigade
headquarters of the SLA in Point Pedro, security sources said.
The conference was attended by fisheries
societies' representatives, fisheries department officials and army
officials led by Jaffna district area commander Major General Susil
Chandrapala, sources said.
Major General Susil Chandrapala gave assurances to the fisheries representatives that he would take necessary action to find amicable
solutions to problems and difficulties confronted by Vadamarachchi north
fisher folk in carrying out their profession, fisheries sources said.
Fisheries representatives said that although more than two years have passed since
the signing of the ceasefire agreement by the government and the LTTE, the
SLA has refused to stop the implementation of their security pass system.
They said the new Jaffna area commander of the SLA also has not taken any
favourable steps regarding their request for eliminating existing army pass system and recognizing the fisheries identity cards, sources said.
Major General Susil Chandrapala is reported to have rejected another
request made by the fisheries societies representatives that internally
displaced fisher families from Myliddy village should be allowed to
resettle in their own lands, which come under the high security zone of Palaly.
Hundreds of fisher families of Myliddy who were displaced in 1990 military
operations have been staying in refugee camps and welfare centres and other
coastal villages without any basic facilities, civil sources said.