India urged to pay compensation to family of slain trade unionist
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 October 2007, 18:42 GMT]
The World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP), a forum of 34 organizations representing traditional fisher communities in Asia, has urged Indian and Tamil Nadu leaders to conduct an impartial inquiry and look after the family of a Sri Lankan fisherman trade unionist, 44-years-old Warnakulasooriya Canicius Fernando, who was shot and killed Friday at the gates of a restricted entrance of Mathurai Central Prision in Tamil Nadu, while he was visiting four Sri Lankan fishermen imprisoned in the Indian jail. The funeral of the victim, a father of two, has taken place in Munnakkarai in Negombo at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday.
Mr. Warnakulasooriya, a trade unionist from Negombo was shot and killed by a prison guard at Madurai Central Prison in Tamil Nadu while he was visiting the jail to see the four fishermen who were imprisoned after being arrested by the Indian coast guard off the Tuticorin coast four months ago in June.
The prison guard opened fire at Mr. Warnakulasooriya when he approached a restricted entrance of a high security area, according to Tamil Nadu police.
Warnakulasooriya is a treasurer of the All Island Fishing folk Trade Union's Gampaha branch.
Indian authorities have ordered a magisterial inquiry into the killing.
Sri Lankan Foreign ministry has raised the matter at diplomatic level, according to SL government sources in Colombo.