Lagoon mines portend danger to Prawn fishermen

[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 February 2003, 00:44 GMT]
War has turned Elephant pass lagoon, well known for high quality prawn harvesting, into an area full of landmines, virtually disabling any immediate attempts to resume the traditional trade by fishermen of that area, sources in Vanni said.

Sources say that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) fearing infiltration of Liberation Tigers (LTTE) through the lagoon to launch surprise attacks at the sprawling Elephant Pass camp, may have buried unknown quantities of landmines in areas surrounding the lagoon.

Further, SLA has buried large quantities of "punji stakes," a technique first employed by the Vietcong women in the Vietnam war where sharpened, fire-hardened, bamboo sticks are buried inside traps to pierce through boots of unsuspecting US soldiers, in several areas of the elephant pass lagoon. Vietnam war statistics reveal that more than 2% of injuries sustained in the war was due to these traps. These stakes, when the water level in the lagoon is low, are clearly visible to visitors passing through the A9 highway.

Fishermen from the areas of Elephant Pass, ThattuvanKotti, Upparu and Umaiyalpuram lament that they cannot ply their traditional trade because of the danger due to landmines and the punji stakes.

During rainy season the influx of saltwater from the ocean into the lagoon brings with it rich resources including prawns and fish. The lagoon provides a breeding ground for prawns. When the water levels recede, the lagoon water is left with abundance of prawns and fish providing a lucrative business for the area fisherman.

Fishermen have urged the authorities in Vanni to take efforts to clear the areas in elephant pass enabling them to resume their trade after an absence of several years.

Punji stakes in Elephant Pass
Elephant Pass lagoon showing rows of sharpened 'Punji' stakes in a curved formation. The taller stakes further from the shore are aimed at restricting movement of boats.

 

Latest 15 Reports
23.06.18 23:46  
Continuing military excavations in Vanni indicate existence of secret detention of ex-LTTE members
22.06.18 13:20   Photo
Colombo's TID wants to interrogate Tamil journalist from Batticaloa
21.06.18 16:24   Photo
Jaffna Tamil fishers mobilise against southern poaching, expose conduct of SL police
20.06.18 11:52  
Wigneswaran's secretary accuses SL Presidential Secretariat of dodging land release in North
19.06.18 18:33   Photo
SL military stationed in 6,275 acres of public and private lands in Vaakarai, Batticaloa
18.06.18 23:05  
Occupying SL Police in Jaffna again blamed for dodging action on criminal policemen
17.06.18 23:51   Photo
SL policemen fire to kill Tamil man at Church premises in Mallaakam, Jaffna
16.06.18 20:31  
US naval, seismic partnerships with genocidal Sri Lanka bring miseries to Eezham Tamils in Trincomalee
15.06.18 21:07   Photo
Swiss ruling, a precedent-setting victory for Right of Self-Determination oriented freedom fighters
14.06.18 20:03  
Only an international investigation would establish truth on enforced disappeared
13.06.18 22:37   Photo
Colombo schemes Sinhala military-led industrialisation of KKS exploiting geopolitics
12.06.18 19:49   Photo
Mannaar mass grave could be from early 1990s, shocking details emerge
11.06.18 14:38  
Sirisena yet to revoke Gazette notification of Colombo's seizure of Champoor lands
10.06.18 19:14  
Tamil families caught in dilemma of transferring lands in Seruvila, Trincomalee
09.06.18 19:04  
SL military attempts to rout out Tamil shop owners in Ampaa'rai village
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=8278