Fishermen from South deployed in recent attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 January 2012, 22:34 GMT]
Five Sinhalese fishermen from South engaging in trawler fishing in the seas off Neduntheevu (Delf) in Jaffna arrested last week for attacking fishermen from Tamil Nadu, have been released together with the two Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Oorkaavattu'rai (Kayts) court. The latest episode has revealed the involvement of Sinhalese fishermen engaging in deep sea fishing in the Northern seas behind violent attacks on intruding fishermen from Tamil Nadu, legal sources in Kayts said. The two fishermen from Tamil Nadu narrated the courts how they were attacked by the Sri Lankan fishermen. In the meantime, informed sources in Jaffna said the latest episode was a diversion maneuver to hide the involvement of Sri Lanka Navy operated gangs in the attacks against Indian fishermen.
The fishermen from India said they had lost control of their boat amidst the rough seas on Thursday last week and had entered the seas off Neduntheevu where they were attacked by the Sinhalese. The Tamil Nadu fishermen said they thought the attackers were Sri Lanka Navy in civil.
Later, when the Sinhalese fishermen took the Tamil Nadu fishermen into their custody and brought them over to the Sri Lanka Navy, the Sinhalese were also handed over to the SL Police by the Sri Lanka Navy.
Both the Tamil Nadu and Sinhalese fishermen were released after the hearing at the Oorkaavaththu'rai court on Tuesday.
The Sinhalese fishermen have been brought to Vadamaraadchi East in large numbers after the Vanni war and are encouraged by the SL military to engage in deep sea fishing while Eezham Tamil fishermen are still deprived of deep sea fishing.
The Sinhalese encroachers, who engage in deep-sea fishing by using prohibited nets, also use dynamite for fishing, fisheries society representatives in Jaffna said.
If this practice is allowed to go on unchecked along with the encroachment by Indian trawlers that destroy the livelihood of Eezham fishermen by bottom-trawling, all the sea resources in Jaffna would be destroyed, they said.