'Lift ban or let us go to Vanni'- Jaffna fishermen

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 October 2001, 13:40 GMT]
More than three thousand fishermen and women demonstrated in Pt. Pedro town Tuesday against Sri Lanka Army restrictions on fishing in the seas off the Jaffna peninsula's Vadamaradchi coast. The fishermen demanded that the SLA should either lift the restrictions and ban or allow them to leave Jaffna and to settle in the LTTE controlled Vanni region.

Representatives of the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), All Ceylon Tamil Congress, the TULF and the UNP met the demonstrating fishermen and had discussions with them during the protest. The fishermen, however, replied that they cannot go by promises made by politicians.

The EPDP representative told them that their problem would be resolved in seven days. The UNP's ex-MP for Jaffna, Mr.T.Maheswaran, told the fishermen that all their problems would be over in 41 days, when his party comes to power.

The demonstration began around 8 a.m. and continued until 2 p.m. Tuesday. Three fishermen who came from Nelliyadi to take part in the protest were assaulted by the Police.


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