Jaffna fishermen agitation continues
[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 February 2002, 21:08 GMT]
In spite of the announcement by the Defense Ministry relaxing the restriction on fishing in some areas in the peninsula, Jaffna fishermen Thursday continued their picketing in front of the Jaffna Secretariat demanding the complete withdrawal of ban on fishing. The Defense Ministry announced Wednesday that it would allow fishing in Vadamarachchi sea from Thondamanaru to Point Pedro from 4.30 am to 6 p.m. using traditional crafts. Earlier the Defense Ministry had completely banned fishing in sea from Thondamanaru to Point Pedro.
Following continuous protest demonstration in front of Jaffna Secretariat, a conference was summoned by the Sri Lanka Army at Palaly camp Wednesday. The Minister for Hindu Religious Affairs Mr.T.Maheswaran participated.
An agreement was reached at the conference with the delegation of the Jaffna District Fishermen Co-operatives Federation to abandon the protest demonstration following a decision to relax the restriction on fishing in Vadamarachchi sea.
However delegates of the fourteen fisheries co-operative societies of the federation refused to accept the undertaking given at the conference by the Minister of Hindu Religious Affairs and informed that they would continue their protest campaign.
When a group of about five hundred fishermen continued their sit in protest campaign in front of the Jaffna Secretariat Thursday demanding the complete withdrawal of ban on fishing, Minister Mr.Maheswaran went to the scene and asked the demonstrators to give one week's time to settle their problem. However, the fishermen refused to accept his assurance.
They told the Minister that they would continue their agitation until their demand is met.
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