Tamil fishermen in Vanni warn of confronting intruding Sinhala fishermen

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 June 2017, 20:31 GMT]
Eezham Tamil fishermen’s societies in Mullaith-theevu and in Vadamaraadchi East complain that more than 400 trawlers from the South have been deployed along their coast from Chaalai to Naakar-koayil in Jaffna district, exploiting their livelihood and marine resources almost on daily basis in the recent weeks. The occupying Sinhala fishermen were telling the local fishermen in the beginning that they would not be disturbing the livelihood of the local fishermen and that there were only 40 trawlers engaging in the fishing from a distance of 4 nautical miles beyond the coastline. But, the intrusion has now exceeded completely out of proportion, causing destruction to the fishing nets of local fishermen. The Sinhala fishermen are deploying prohibited methods of fishing at the presence of SL Navy.

The activities of the Sinhala fishermen are also causing destruction to the ecosystem, including the use of extensive lighting during the nights, the fishermen’s associations complain.

The intruders are mainly focused on catching sea-cucumbers for export as part of major ‘industrialisation’ schemes operated by private traders in South in collusion with SL State and its Sinhala military.

The occupying Sinhala fishermen have already seized 70% of the Mullaiththeevu coast and devastated the livelihood of Eehzam Tamil fishermen in their own homeland.

In the meantime, SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has been collecting billions of US dollars for so-called ‘mangrove protection’ along the coast of North-East.

Even the money being brought inside the island is being deployed for the ‘development’ of Sinhala settlers and for the purpose of waging structural genocide against Eezham Tamils.

The European Union has also awarded the genocidal Sri Lanka with Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) without considering the systematic and structural discrimination of the Tamil-speaking fisher folks in the North-East.

The latest encroachment is targeting the coastal strip from Chaalai to Vadaramaraadchi East, extending the occupation of territorial waters of Eezham Tamils towards the Jaffna district.

Tamil Fishermen societies in Jaffna and Mullaiththeevu districts have warned they would be forced to take direct action against the intruders if their complaints were not properly addressed by the civil authorities.


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