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Navy harassment adds to fishermen's woes

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 January 2005, 11:44 GMT]
"NorthEast fishermen, already struggling to make a living after the decimation of the fishing industry by the tsunami disaster, also have to endure harassment by the Sri Lanka Navy soldiers who have imposed a pass system to restrict fishermen's freedom of movement in seas," complained representatives from Jaffna fisheries societies to the visiting fishery officials from Colombo Sunday during a conference organised in Jaffna by the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR).

The officials, Mr.G.Piyasena, DFAR Director General and Mr D.S.Nandasena, DFAR Assistant Director attended the conference organised to assess the destruction and damages caused to the fishing sector due to tsunami disaster. Colombo officials from DFAR
DFAR conference in Jaffna

Colombo-DFAR officials
DFAR conference in Jaffna
Colombo-DFAR officials
Mr.G.Piyasena, Director General, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR)
Mr.Kandiah Tharmalingam, Jaffna District Assistant Director of Fisheries presided. Representatives of Jaffna fisheries societies and other related agencies participated in the discussion.

Mr.G.Piyasena told the fisheries representatives that he will bring a positive response at the next meeting after intimating their complaints to the notice of the Minister of Fisheries, sources said.

Mr.Piyasena assured the representatives that assistance would be provided to Jaffna fishermen on par with their southern counterparts, sources added.

The discussion centred on the formulation of a scheme to compensate the loss caused to fisher folk and the fisheries industry due to tsunami.

Damage claim forms that to be filled by tsunami victims were distributed to DFAR Jaffna district officials.

Mr.Piyasena said action is being taken to pay compensation to damages caused to fisher folk and fishing industry in Jaffna district due to war between 1983 and 2001. He said his ministry has obtained approval and compensation would be paid through the Jaffna Government Agent. He added a committee has been appointed to ensure compensation being paid in an orderly manner.

Implementation of a pension scheme for fishermen who reach sixty years of age was also discussed.

Mr.P.Mohan of Fisheries Societies Federation participated in DFAR Conference.

Officials from LTTE's Jaffna district political division and Sea Tigers also attended the meeting, sources said.

Mr.Piyasena later visited the Tsunami destroyed coastal villages of Vadamaradchchi division.

District Fisheries Extension OfficeColombo-DFAR officials
DFAR organised conference


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