Jaffna SLA demand money for IDs
[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Fishermen setting out to sea this morning from the coastal villages near the Jaffna town were asked by the Sri Lankan army to pay up hundred fifty SL rupees for the issuance new special identity cards.
The SLA has set up sentry points at all the jetty's in these parts to check all fishermen who fish in the permitted zones of the sea which forms the Jaffna lagoon.
Fishermen in the villages of Columbuthurai, Navanthurai, Kurunagar, Paashaiyur, Poompuhar, Ariyalai etc., were issued special fiswhermen's identity cards by the Sri Lankan army ostensibly to prevent infiltration by the Liberation Tigers who control the mainland to the south of the Jaffna lagoon and to curb the smuggling of banned goods to the LTTE areas from Jaffna town.
These cards were renewed only two months ago, in August this year.
Hence the announcement that all fishermen should pay the army hundred and fifty rupees this morning for making new special identity cards was received with much dismay in the coastal parts of the Jaffna town area.
Poor fishermen complained that they cannot afford this payment at such short notice given the very low daily catch due to restrictions on fishing imposed regularly by the army.
29.10.97 Jaffna coastal villages no-go areas: SLA