Indian Tamil fishermen on token strike against Sri Lanka Navy
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 June 2008, 17:47 GMT]
Fishermen's associations in Thangakchchimadam in the state of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday organized a token strike to protest against the Sri Lanka Navy that shot and killed a 20-year-old Indian Tamil fisherman in the waters off Raameasvaram. An SLN vessel had opened fire on four Tamil Nadu fishermen who had set out in a mechanized boat on Monday when the 45-day fishing ban imposed by the state government of Tamil Nadu had come to an end, according to the representatives of the fishermen's associations in Thangkachchimadam. The fishermen were fishing near Kachchatheevu around midnight. The Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai, has denied SLN involvement in the attack.
The victim was identified as Sandhiya, from Anthoaniyaarpuram near Thangkachchimadam in Tamil Nadu. He died instantaneously because of bullet injuries to his kidney, while his brother Arockiaraj, uncle Edison and another fisherman Santhya Thopiyas of Thangkachchimadam, managed to escape unhurt, according to newsreports in Tamil Nadu.
Sandhiya's body was brought body ashore later in the night and it was sent to the government hospital in Raameasvaram (Rameswaram) for postmortem. Fishermen from the coastal village of Thangkachchimadam staged protests at the hospital criticizing the indiscriminate killing of Tamil Nadu fisherman by the SLN.
Meanwhile, Rameswaram District Collector R Kirlosh Kumar offered a solatium of 100,000 rupees to Michael, the father of the slain fisherman.