Fishermen demonstrate against SLA restriction in Mannaar

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 June 2008, 04:20 GMT]
More than 300 fishermen from PanangkaddukKoddadi area in Mannaar district launched a protest demonstration in front of Mannar Regional Secretariat Thursday around 10:30 a.m against the restrictions imposed by Sri Lanka Army (SLA), and submitted memoranda to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, S. Vino Noharathalingam and Mannaar Assistant Government Agent (AGA), requesting their help to solve their problems, sources in Mannaar said.

The fishermen protested against the severe checking by the SLA of the fishermen and their equipment and permitting fishing only after 10:30 a.m.

The delay of more than 3 hours due the new procedures was affecting the size of their daily catch, and their daily income, the fishermen complained.

Before this new procedure the fishermen were able to start fishing at 7:30 a.m after going through checking at three points, first at the SLA check post near Mannaar Bridge, next at Koaththappiddi Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) camp and finally at Pa’l’limunai SLN camp.

The new restrictions were imposed following the recent attack on Erukkalampiddi SLN camp.

When Vino Noharathalingam raised this issue with the Officer in charge of Pa’l’limunai SLN camp, the officer said that the procedure in question is being adopted for security reasons and that the fishermen will be allowed to go fishing as they had done earlier with effect from Friday.

The TNA parliamentarian, however, said he was skeptical of the assurance, and he will wait till Friday before taking new efforts to resolve the matter.


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