Jaffna fishermen suspicious of SLN's easing of restrictions
[TamilNet, Monday, 08 October 2007, 03:48 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), while stepping up naval operations, has suddenly relaxed its restrictions imposed on Jaffna fishermen by extending the distance to 3 km and the number of fishermen allowed to fish in these areas has been raised from 600 to 700. The fishermen are suspicious that this action has been taken with the hidden aim to exploit them as pawns in an attempt to launch camouflage offensives on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held areas across Jaffna lagoon, causing fear among the fishermen, Jaffna Fishermen Society representatives said.
SLN had previously restricted fishing to 2 km distance from the shores of Jaffna lagoon coast from Ki'lali, Kearatheevu and Changkuppiddi.
The SLN and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) have intensified their attempts to infiltrate into LTTE held areas across the Jaffna lagoon in recent times and this seemingly benevolent act of relaxing restrictions raise doubts among local fishermen, the representatives said.
The restriction preventing fishing in lagoon areas lying west to Kurunakar jetty has also been suddenly lifted by the SLN, leaving room for further suspicion, fishing representatives added.
Though the fishermen fishing on Jaffna lagoon stand to benefit by the relaxation, the risk of danger to their lives getting caught in clashes between the SLN and the LTTE has created fear among the fishermen.