SLA said exacerbating Vadamaradchi fishermen's suffering
[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 March 2002, 20:39 GMT]
Spokespersons for fishermen's societies in Jaffna's Vadamaradchi division told TamilNet that the Sri Lanka army curtailed fishing hours Saturday to punish them for putting up posters and banners welcoming the Liberation Tigers to the northern peninsula. They said that the military intelligence unit of the SLA's 52-4 brigade removed the banners and posters and questioned civilians.
Posters and banners welcoming the Tigers to areas controlled by the SLA in the north and east came up this week in Batticaloa, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Jaffna.
The SLA allowed fishermen in the Vadamaradchi region of Jaffna to fish in the sea from 3.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. following the signing of the cease-fire agreement between Colombo and the Tigers. However, on Saturday, the SLA delayed them from setting out to sea until 5 a.m. accusing the fishermen that they have links with the LTTE and that they were responsible for the banners and posters in support of the Tigers.
Following this, the Federation of Vadamaradchi Fisherman's Societies faxed a letter to the Government Agent Jaffna, Mr. K. Shanmuganathan, stating that fisher folk of the north would be compelled to get on the streets to protest against the this curtailment of hours allowed for fishing by the SLA here.