Intruding engine boats destroy ecosystem of Kokku'laay lagoon

[TamilNet, Monday, 30 July 2018, 20:21 GMT]
Native Eezham Tamil fishermen in Kokku'laay complain that their fishing ecosystem will be destroyed within the next two years if the fisheries authorities of the occupying unitary state of Sri Lanka continue to allow the intruding fishermen from other districts to deploy boats fitted with engines. The intruders use diesel,l petrol and kerosene and have no concerns of the ecosystem as it is not their environment, says Tamil fisherman representative M. Mariyathas, who is a survivor of genocidal onslaught on Vanni in 2009.



Resettled Tamils are struggling to gain access to their fishing Paadu (an area of coastal sea-bed falling within the scope of a 10 feet long draw-net).

Sinhala fishers, with the backing of the SL fisheries authorities and the occupying military, have seized their Paadus.

For example, the fisheries authorities have handed one of the Paadus to a single Sinhala fisher from South.

“Now, we are languishing with lawsuits every month facing every hearing once, twice or even thrice per month,” he says.

While the Tamil fishers are unable to engage in the seas in their territorial waters, they are also confronted with intruding fishers, most of them Tamil-speaking Muslims from Trincomalee, Mariyathas says.

The intruders use boats fitted with engines, which is a legally banned method for fishing in the lagoons.

When the representatives of the Tamil fishermen, voice for their rights, they are being chased away by the SL Police, he says. There is also a Tamil policeman, named Mohan, who is acting against the Tamils, he said.

“We have complained to all. Tamil parliamentarians and Bishops have come and gone. Nothing happened. Still, we continue complaining to all those who visit and interview us,” Mariathas said adding that he is tired of complaining about their plight.


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