Jaffna fishermen protest against SLN attacks

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 March 2006, 05:57 GMT]
Valligamam south and west fishermen have suspended all fishing activities in Northern seas from Saturday in protest against the Sri Lanka Navy(SLN) forces' persistent harassment and attacks on fishermen, and demanded freedom to fish without hindrance, said Fishermen Societies Consortium in Jaffna Friday evening in a press meet held in Jaffna, sources said.

SLN attacks on fishermen fishing in the seas of Chullipuram, Urany, Senthankulam, Seenthipanthan and Mathagal is on the increase, fishermen complain.

The Fishermen Societies Consortium further said that a SLN Dvora patrol boat Thursday rammed into a boat belonging to the secretary of a fishermen society in Chullipuram intentionally in the high seas causing the boat to capsize and throwing overboard the secretary's injured son.

"Though more than twelve incidents of this nature had occurred in our fishing waters during last week alone and as repeated complaints to the SLN authorities remain unheeded, we have decided to boycott fishing," said the members of the Consortium of Fishermen societies.

370 families of fishermen in Mathagal and 212 families in Seenthipanthan, Urany and Senthankulam may face death due to starvation should this boycott drag longer, warned fishery sources.

Fishermen further complained that though they fish in seas farther away from the newly declared high security zone to the east and west of the Kankesanthurai (KKS) naval base, SLN attacks on fishermen have not stopped.

Jaffna residents said that there was severe shortage of fish and other sea-food on Saturday.

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