Valvettiturai fishermen complain of harassment by SLA

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 May 2003, 02:58 GMT]
Jaffna fisheries federation (JFF) officials Monday accused the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for concocting stories of recovering fishing boats with explosives in the Valvettithurai seacoast with the intention of harassing Tamil fishermen. Valvettiturai Fisheries Society officials further accused the SLA for launching a mischievous campaign to prevent fishermen from going to sea for their livelihood, security sources said.

The SLA Sunday reported that it has recovered a second fishing boat with explosives in Valvettithurai (VVT) sea coast. The first fishing boat with explosives was recovered by the SLA at Polikandy few days ago, according to security forces. Both fishing boats are now kept at VVT police station, sources said.

Valvettithurai Fisheries Society President Mr. C.Rajan said those two fishing boats which were recovered by the SLA in recent times were crafts left abandoned several years ago in the Valvettithurai sea coast in damaged condition and are not sea-worthy.

The Valvettithurai Fisheries Society (VFS) members have protested to the SLA stationed in the peninsula for conducting checks on fishing boats during nights after they beached their boats and gone home.

VFS has requested the security forces to examine the fishing boats in the presence of boat owners and representatives of fisheries societies in future, sources said.

However, the SLA authorities in Jaffna have not responded to the request favourably but have started conducting frequent checks on fishing boats engaged in fishing in Valvettithurai Sea, VFS sources said.

The SLA recently summoned representatives of all fisheries societies to its camps and requested them to co-operate with them to conduct search on fishing boats while in sea and beach, sources said.


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