Vadamaradchi fishermen to protest against SLA restrictions

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 July 2000, 17:35 GMT]
The Federation of Fishermen's societies in the Vadamaradchi division of Jaffna wrote to the Sri Lanka army's 52-4 brigade in Pt.Pedro Thursday that more than two thousand fishermen who have been adversely affected by restrictions imposed on fishing in the region after April this year are contemplating a peaceful protest to demand the lifting of the harsh regulations.

The SLA restricted fishing on the northeastern coast of Jaffna after the fall of its Elephant Pass base complex.

Fishermen are now permitted to sea only from 6 a.m. in the morning to 3 p.m. in the afternoon. They have to fish very close to the shore under the SLA regulations. The fishermen have to keep their rafts in the army camps by the Vadamaradchi coast. Only those who obtain special identity cards from the SLA are permitted to ply their trade, according to a spokesman of the Federation of Vadamaradchi fishermen's societies.

They complain that there is very little space for rafts in some camps. The fisherfolk have to put out to sea from the beaches by the camps which according to them is very difficult given the current war situation in the peninsula where the army and the Liberation Tigers frequently engage in artillery and mortar duels.

The members of the Fishermen's societies plan to begin a protest fast to demand that they be given more time to fish and be allowed to go further from the coast.

 

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