Sri Lanka tightens fishing restrictions under terrorism act

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 June 2002, 05:52 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government has issued a gazette notification retrospectively dated 23 May, 2002 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act specifying areas in the Northeast that have been restricted for fishing. The government will appoint a Competent Authority in charge of the newly demarcated restricted areas under this gazette notification. The new PTA regulation includes punishment for those violating restriction on fishing in the specified areas.

The new gazette notification issued by the Minister of defense, Mr.Tilak Marapana follows: -

1. The new regulations may be cited as the Prevention of Terrorism (Restricted Areas) Regulations No.01 of 2002.

2. The Minister shall appoint by name or by office a person to be the Competent Authority for the purposes of these regulation

3. (i) No person shall, enter the areas in the North and East of Sri Lanka, to be known as the ì restricted areas" specified in the Schedule to these regulations, in any boat or vessel or in any other manner, or remain within or ply any boat or vessel within any such area for any purpose whatsoever except with the written authority of the Competent Authority.

(ii) Any person who contravenes the provisions of paragraph (i) of this regulation shall be guilty of an offence

(iii) Every boat or vessel, which is permitted within a restricted areas, shall, if such boat or vessel is plying within such area at nightfall, be well illuminated so as to be easily identified from afar.

(iv) A certificate issued under the hand of the Competent Authority to the effect that an act prohibited by paragraph (i) took place within the “restricted areas,” shall be admissible and shall be prima facie evidence of the stated therein.

4. (i) Any police officer, any member of the Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka Navy or the Sri Lanka Air Force or any other person authorized by the Minister to act under these regulations may within the restricted area, stop or detain any person, boat or vessel for the purpose of identification, so as to satisfy himself that such person, boat or vessel has been specially authorized to enter and remain, or ply within any such area.

(ii) The officer referred to in paragraph (i) who has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the person, boat or vessel so stopped or detained has not obtained the authority required by regulation 4 and shall cause such person, boat or vessel to be dealt with according to the applicable laws.

(iii) For the purpose of stopping any person, boat or vessel under the provision of this regulation the officer referred to in paragraph (i) may give such orders, directions or signals or use such other devices, or take such other measures as may be necessary to stop such person, boat or vessel or to cause such boat or vessel to halt.

(iv) Any person found within the restricted areas, or found on board any boat or vessel within the restricted areas who fails to comply with any order, direction or signal or any other means by the use of such other devices as are necessary in the circumstances shall be guilty of an offence.

(v) Upon the failure or refusal of any person found within the restricted areas or found on board any boat or vessel within such area, to comply with any order, direction or signal given or any other means used, the officer issuing such order may, at his discretion halt or cause to be halted such person, boat or vessel by the use of such means as he may be deem necessary in the circumstances.

5. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other written law, no indemnity or other payment shall be payable under any policy of insurance, in respect of any death, injury or damage caused to any person, boat or vessel found within the restricted areas in contravention of the provisions of regulation 3 of these regulations.

6. Any person who has committed an offence under those regulations shall on conviction after trial by the High Court and be liable to rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than three months and not exceeding five years and to a fine of not less than Five Hundred Thousand Rupees.

7. The Prevention of Terrorism (Prohibited Zone) Regulations, No 8 of 2001 published in Gazette Extraordinary No 1193/31 of 21st July 2001 is hereby rescinded.

8. Nothing in these regulations shall be read and construed as affecting in anyway, the right of access to the island of Kachchathivu granted to Indian fishermen, under the agreement between Sri Lanka and Indian signed on 28th June, 1974, on the “Boundary in the Historic Waters between the countries and Related matters" read with the provisions of the Agreement between Sri Lanka and Indian signed on 23rd March, 1976, on the ì Maritime Boundary between the two countries in the Gulf of Mannar and the Bay of Bengal and Related Matters.


Areas of the North and East, which comprise the Restricted Zone

The "restricted areas" shall comprise the areas along the coast line of the Administrative Districts of, Trincomalee, Mullaitivu, Jaffna Killinochchi, Mannar and the adjacent Territorial sea, as are identified by the Co-ordinates set out below and as depicted in the map attached hereto: -

Approaches to Trincomalee harbour
Approaches to Kankesanthurai harbour
From Kokuthoduvai to Elizabeth point
From Manalkadu to Mandaitivu

Talaimannar Island


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