Southern fishermen occupying Vadamaraadchi accused of sexual harassment
[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 November 2010, 06:20 GMT]
One of the fishermen of nearly 600 Sinhala and Muslim fishermen from South brought by Sri Lanka government with the assistance of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to catch sea cucumber and conch shells in Vadamaraadchi East, was thrashed by local people when he tried to sexually harass a young woman, civil sources in the region said. Intervention by SLA soldiers to save the fisherman has triggered conflict between the people and the army and tension prevails in the area. The presence and activities of the southern fishermen, protected by SLA, is viewed by the civilians of the area as causing cultural deterioration including sexual abuse of women and children of the area. The fishermen brought in by the SLA were behaving as 'winners' from the South, also causing structural and psychological genocide, the sources further said.
Two weeks ago, Tamil fishermen in SLA occupied areas in Vadamaraadchi East in Jaffna peninsula accused the SLA officials for bringing in Sinhala fishermen from South who catch sea cucumber and conch shells in great quantities in the seas of Kudaththanai and Ma’natkaadu where local fishermen are not permitted to fish freely by the SLA.
The Sinhala fishermen, numbering from 600 to 800 occupy the houses of local people who are not allowed to resettle in their houses by the SLA authorities, Vadamaraadchi Fishermen Society representatives said.
SLA officers in the area hire the boats and nets from the local fishermen for the southern fishermen to catch sea cucumber and conch shells for them.
A great quantity of delicacies of the sea caught are taken to Colombo by the Sinhala fishermen who make millions of rupees selling them to exporters.
The local fishermen already affected by war are further robbed of what is rightfully theirs, the representatives said.