Feature Article

Nedumaran calls for protest demanding closure of SL Mission in Chennai

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 July 2010, 10:19 GMT]
Triggered by the killing of a Tamil Nadu fisherman and violent intimidation of seven Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy on Thursday, the leader of Tamil Nationalist Movement Pazha Nedumaran, who also coordinates the alliance of Ilangkai Tamil Protection Movement, has announced a protest in Chennai on July 14 Wednesday demanding the Indian government to close down the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Tamil Nadu state. Mr. Nedumaran, in a statement issued on Friday condemned the Indian state for lack of response as the Sri Lanka Navy continues to kill Tamil Nadu fishermen while the Sri Lankan government which has been waging a genocidal onslaught of Tamils has went to the extent of propping up a campaign against the UN office in Colombo.

Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) soldiers brutally attacked Wednesday fishermen from Vethaara地iyam in Tamil Nadu killing one of them besides denuding and torturing fellow fishermen as they were fishing in Tamil Nadu seas, according to Maalai Malar Tamil daily published in Chennai. SLN continue its brutal attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen despite protests raised by the Central and Tamil Nadu governments, Maalai Malar said.

Fishermen Chellappan, Kaliyappan, Selvaraj and Thuruvanpulam from Ve値値appaalam near Vethaara地iyam went fishing in a boat Wednesday. Four more fishermen Murukesan, Arivalagan, Chinappoo and Iliyarajah from the same area too went in another boat.

Around 9:00 p.m SLN sailors arriving at the site where the above fishermen were fishing attacked them with iron rods killing Chellppan besides seriously injuring the other seven fishermen.

Tension prevails in Ve値値ampa値値am and Aarukkaadduththu池ai fisher folk villages where people are enraged over the killing of Chellappan by the Sri Lanka Navy.

Traditionally, the Tamil fishermen on both the shores share the Palk Strait, a declared Historic Waters.

While the Tamil fishermen, across the Palk Strait, with strong cultural ties could resolve their disputes in a civic manner the interests of New Delhi and Colombo have jointly worked against the Tamil fishermen sharing the Historic Waters.

The Sri Lankan state, which systematically deprived Tamils of large-scale fishing facilities, has sought to create a conflict of interest between the Tamil fishermen on either side of the Historic Waters.

The sovereignty of Tamil fishermen in the region has been confronted by the 'state-sovereignty' of Sri Lanka.

Kachchatheevu Map
Satellite image showing the location of Kachchatheevu [Image courtesy: NASA, Visible Earth, Legend by TamilNet]

Kachchaitheevu, a tiny islet situated midway between Nedunththeevu (Delft) island of Sri Lanka and Raameasvaram island of India in the Palk Strait, became a part of Sri Lanka through the agreement concluded in 1974, on the boundary of Historic Waters between the two countries.

However, according to the agreement, the Indian fishermen and pilgrims can continue to have access to visit Kachchaitheevu as it was before, without any travel document required by Sri Lanka.

It was agreed by both the countries that fishermen from Tamil Nadu would be allowed access to Kachchaitheevu Island for rest, for drying of nets and to offer prayers in the local St.Anthony's Church.

The Tamil Nadu fishermen have repeatedly asserted that their traditional fishing rights in the large catchment area should be respected.

The Sri Lankan government deprives the Tamil fishermen in the North and East of fishing rights by not allowing them to operate fishing trawlers. The Tamil fishermen of Mannaar and Jaffna, deprived of fisheries development, are primarily dependent on small scale fishing which is affected by poaching trawlers.

The Sri Lankan state, which also colonises the traditional coastal stretch with Sinhala settlers, has systematically deployed its navy on a long term mission, seeking to create conflicts of interests between the Tamils sharing the Historic Waters.

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