Fishermen appeal for elimination of SLA Pass system

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 January 2004, 04:51 GMT]
Vadamarachchi North fisheries societies in Jaffna district appealed to the Sri Lanka Army to replace the existing army pass system by recognizing the fisheries identity cards issued by the Department of Fisheries. The appeal was made at a conference held last week at the 52-4 brigade headquarters of the SLA in Point Pedro, security sources said.

The conference was attended by fisheries societies' representatives, fisheries department officials and army officials led by Jaffna district area commander Major General Susil Chandrapala, sources said.

Major General Susil Chandrapala gave assurances to the fisheries representatives that he would take necessary action to find amicable solutions to problems and difficulties confronted by Vadamarachchi north fisher folk in carrying out their profession, fisheries sources said.

Fisheries representatives said that although more than two years have passed since the signing of the ceasefire agreement by the government and the LTTE, the SLA has refused to stop the implementation of their security pass system. They said the new Jaffna area commander of the SLA also has not taken any favourable steps regarding their request for eliminating existing army pass system and recognizing the fisheries identity cards, sources said.

Major General Susil Chandrapala is reported to have rejected another request made by the fisheries societies representatives that internally displaced fisher families from Myliddy village should be allowed to resettle in their own lands, which come under the high security zone of Palaly.

Hundreds of fisher families of Myliddy who were displaced in 1990 military operations have been staying in refugee camps and welfare centres and other coastal villages without any basic facilities, civil sources said.

 

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