Fishing ban hits Jaffna fishermen

[TamilNet, Monday, 16 November 1998, 13:38 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) has banned fishing in Vadamaradchi, Vadamaradchi east and in the western coastal areas of the peninsula from today said local fishermen. However, Sri Lankan security forces Headquarters at Palaly in Jaffna is yet to confirm this officially.

The SLA had allowed fishermen in villages such as Thiruvadinilai, Puliyanthurai and Ponnalai on the western coast of Jaffna with severe restrictions to ply their trade.

Fishermen in these villages said that the army has completely banned all fishing on this coast from yesterday.

Fishermen in Vadamaradchi and Vadamaradchi east also said that fishing has been banned in their areas as well. Fishing was allowed very close to the shore in these parts of Jaffna earlier.

The SLA banned fishing in the Jaffna lagoon on November 5 in the waters off Ariyalai east, Gurunagar, Paashaiyoor, Columbuthurai and Mandaithivu and in the Pannai lagoon off Jaffna town.

The whole coastal fishing population has been affected by the SLA ban said a spokesman for the Gurunagar fishermen's society this morning.

He said that the army has imposed the ban fearing a massive amphibious attack on Jaffna by the Liberation Tigers who dominate the mainland to the peninsula's south, across the lagoon.

The SLA is on alert in the north since last week for attacks by the Liberation Tigers on military positions to mark the Maaveerar (great heroes) week which begins on November 21.


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