Protesting grassroots Tamil activists targeted in Jaffna, Vanni

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 August 2018, 18:12 GMT]
Unknown attackers, who are believed to be the operatives of the occupying SL military or the intruding Sinhala fishers in Vadamaraadchi East, Jaffna, have burnt down another boat of a Tamil fisherman activist in the early hours on Monday. Arulappu Nimal, a father of two, lost his boat at Thaa'laiyadi. This is the second incident within the last ten days in which the attackers have targeted the vessels that belong to Tamil fishers who staged a self-mobilised action against the Sinhala sea cucumber poachers in Vadamaraadchi East. In the meantime, the SL Police has acted against a leading Tamil woman activist in Keappaa-pulavu, Mullaiththeevu, allegedly on the instructions from the occupying SL military.

The sea cucumber poaching is an export-oriented big business for southern traders, who operate with the backing of the SL military, SL ministers and officials in Colombo.

As the SL fisheries authorities, who collaborate with the southern poachers, were not responding to the repeated complaints and the protests, the Tamil fishermen took to the seas on 20th June encircling and detaining the Sinhala poachers.

In Mullaiththeevu, SL Police from Mu'l'liya-va'lai recently closed down a road-side fuel shop that belonged to Ms Gowsalya Sathees.

The SL police were claiming that her shop posed a ‘security risk’ to the SL naval base located in the area.

Gowsalya has been a leading activist in demanding full de-militarisation of Keappaa-pulavu. She has been at the forefront in waging the continuous protest at Keappaa-pulavu, which is still going on. She launched the small shop after her lands were released in January 2018.

After the SL Police closed down her shop, Gowsalya openly complained to media about the harassment and went on record stating that the SL police was selective in acting against her shop while there were many other shops selling kerosene and petrol without any restrictions in the same area.

Furthermore, it is not the SL Police, but the Divisional Secretariat that should be concerned about where such shops are allowed to operate, she told the media.

After she went publicly opposing the SL police action, Gowsalya moved on to re-open the shop.

The SL Police and the military, who patrol the area, remained restrained on Wednesday, news sources in Mullaiththeevu told TamilNet.

Even after the latest harassment, Gowsalya was vocal in reiterating that Keappaa-pulavu should be fully de-militarised if the resettlement and the re-commencement of livelihood of the people concerned were to take place in a meaningful way.

The occupying SL military is intentionally blocking the people from engaging in livelihood activities in order to sustain its occupation and suppression, Gowsalya told media on Tuesday.

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