Jaffna fishermen to boycott minister's Colombo conference
[TamilNet, Friday, 19 September 2003, 20:58 GMT]
Jaffna district fisheries societies Friday decided to boycott the
conference summoned by the Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister, Mr.Mahinda Wijesekara, next week in Colombo. The conference has been summoned to discuss and find ways and means to solve the problems confronting the fishermen of the Jaffna district, fisheries sources said.
The invitation of the fisheries ministry has been sent to the Jaffna fisheries co-operative societiesto send at least fifty representatives to the Colombo conference through
the Jaffna district fisheries office, sources said.
Jaffna fisheries sources cited Mr.Wijesekara's failure to implement all proposals submitted by Jaffna district fisheries societies at the last year's conference summoned by him as the reason for their refusal to participate at the Colombo conference.
During the early part of last year, Minister Wijesekara paid a visit to Jaffna and saw the difficulties of Jaffna fishermen in running their day to day life due to restriction imposed by the Sri Lankan government troops and other related problems. However, Mr.Wijesekara has failed thereafter
to take proper measures to alleviate the sufferings of the fishermen, sources said.
Hence, the decision has been taken to boycott this year's conference in Colombo as the Jaffna fishermen consider it as an "eye wash," fisheries societies' sources said.