UNF’s stand on Jaffna fishing ban questioned
[TamilNet, Monday, 17 December 2001, 11:29 GMT]
The federation of Vadamaradchi fishermen’s co-operative societies said that it intends to begin demonstrations and sit in protests soon if the new government does not take meaningful steps to lift the total ban on fishing in the seas off coast between Thikkam and Thondmanar and the five-hour restriction along the Katkovalam coast in Pt. Pedro. A spokesman for the federation said that Sri Lanka army soldiers assaulted the secretary and treasurer of the Munai Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Sunday for setting out to sea before the stipulated time.
“The United National Party promised fishermen on the west coast that it would lift restrictions on Out Board Motors during the election campaign. It should consider the plight of all fishermen equally, regardless of whether they are Sinhala or Tamil”, the spokesman told Tamilnet.
The SLA allows fishermen in villages on the coast between Thikkam and Katkovalam to fish in the sea only between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Munai is a fishing village near Pt. Pedro.
“Many fishermen are being driven by poverty to defy the five hour restriction on the Thikkam – Katkovalam coast”, said the spokesman for the Federation.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka army is stepped up security in several parts of the Waligamam division in the Jaffna peninsula Monday, residents said. Checking of buses has been renewed in Irupalai and Kopay. Security was enhanced in Manipay, Sankanai and Sithankerni, sources said.