SLA fills fishing jetties with stones in Vadamaradchi
[TamilNet, Monday, 11 September 2006, 23:15 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army Saturday begun forcing fishermen along Vadamaradchi North to fill the mooring points and jetties with stones. "The mooring points, the only means of sea access for the fishermen who have struggled for years for their livelihoods are now being closed, shutting down all hopes of the fishermen in Vadamaradchi North," fishermen's Co-op Society sources said.
Fishermen operating in Supparmadam, Erintha Amman Koviladi and Katkottai areas in Vadamaradchchi north were summoned to nearby military camps on Saturday, and then were forced at gun point by SLA soldiers to fill up all the jetties in the area with coral rocks, civil society sources in Vadamaradchy said.
SLA sentry constructed with coral reef in northern coast.
The lagoon in these areas had been dug deep for the fishing boats to reach the shore and over thirty such jetties were in operation in the area between Thondamaanaru and Katkovalam, Point Perdo.
During the past twenty years of war SLA soldiers did not allow deepening of the sea and the jetties were not in use for a while after Tsunami. However, the jetties have recently been renovated by the fishermen with the assistance of local as well as international volunteer organizations.
SLA had earlier banned fishing in these area and had already confiscated the outboard motors from the boats. The boats are now anchored 300 meters from the coast.
The fishermen’s Co-op Society in this region have stated that SLA troops ordered the closure of these jetties fearing that LTTE cadres may use this sea route to stage attacks from the coast. A communiqué issued by the society expressed fear that fishing may never resume in this region and the thousands of fishermen are in danger of losing their livelihood.