Tigers resolve Gurunagar dispute

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 September 2004, 16:37 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Thursday resolved a violent dispute between fishermen from Gurunagar, a coastal suburb of Jaffna town, and from villages on the western coast of Kilinochchi. A fisherman from Gurunagar was injured and several assaulted last week over a long simmering dispute over the fishing grounds in the seas off Pallikudah, Naachchikudah and Valaipaadu. Gurunagar fishermen who were angered by the incidents attacked an LTTE office in their suburb on Tuesday.

Several boats from Gurunagar that were fishing in the seas near Palaithivu were attacked and damaged by fishermen from the villages of Naachchikudah, Valaipaadu and Pallikudah.

The Sea Tigers and the LTTE's political division arranged a conference Thursday in Pallai to resolve the dispute. More than five hundred fisherfolk from Gurunagar and the villages of Pallikudah, Naachchikudah and Valaipaadu took part.

Sea Tigers Special Commander Colonel Soosai, Sea Tigers Jaffna district head Mr.Arunan, Sea Tiger officer Mr. Maravan, LTTE deputy political head Mr.S.Thangan, Jaffna district political head Mr.C.Ilamparithi and Jaffna district deputy political head Mr.Semmanan participated in the discussion.

Fishermen of Pallikudah, Nachchikudah and Valaipaadu had complained to the Sea Tigers that they were being deprived of their livelihood as deep-sea going trawlers from Gurunagar were destroying their nets and depleting fish breeding grounds in the seas off their coast and around the islet of Palaithivu.

Taking into consideration the hardships faced by the small boat fishermen from the Valaipaadu-Naachchikudah fisherfolk it was resolved that trawlers won't fish in the disputed waters from 31 December this year.

It was also resolved that trawlers won't fish in waters within five km from the shore in Naachchikudah, sources said.

Several speakers at the conference appealed to all concerned not to fall prey to Sri Lanka army intelligence and para-military groups that are bent on creating dissension in the fishing community by exploiting the dispute between Gurunagar and Naachchikudah, sources said.


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