2ND LEAD (CORRECTION)

Trincomalee fishermen protest against restriction on fishing

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 July 2008, 16:20 GMT]
A demonstration led by Sinhala nationalist JVP's Trincomalee district parliamentatrian Jayantha Wijesekare demanded Friday the Sri Lankan government to relax the restriction on fishing imposed in Trincomalee or to compensate Rs. 20,000 per fishing family. The JVP, which is opposed to Rajapaksa government's move to hand over lands in Moothoor to India's infrastructure investment of Coal-Fired Power Plant, said it would launch a massive protest campaign against the government if the UPFA government failed to satisfy the demands immediately.

More than 300 fishermen belonging to all three communities gathered at the Clock Tower junction to participate in the demonstration organized by the JVP. Mr.Jayantha Wijesekara along with Mr.Wimal Piyatissa, the sole JVP councilor in the Eastern Provincial Council, who led the demonstration amid tight security provided by the Sri Lankan Police, Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Army.

The fishermen demonstrated from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and demanded that they should be paid a sum of Rupees Twenty Thousand per month as relief until they are allowed fishing throughout day and night.

The demonstrators urged that they should be allowed to fish from 4:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. daily instead of current restriction between 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. in day time as the catch during day times is less and the income derived by day time fishing is not enough to run their day to day life.

The fishermen who stay long hours in sea are not allowed to come to the shore but left in sea till the next day.

According to Mr. Wijesekare most of the power and water supply of the fishing folk have been disconnected by the authorities after their inability to pay the bills due to low income. And he demanded that immediate restoration of these services should take place.


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