Feature Article

Intruding Sinhala fishermen ridicule Tamil officials in Mullaiththeevu

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 April 2017, 17:12 GMT]
Sinhala fishermen, who have occupied the fish-rich coast of Naayaa'ru coast of Eezham Tamils in Karaithu'rai-ppattu division of Mullaith-theevu have challenged the Tamil officials refusing to leave the coastal stretch they have violently occupied from Tamils since 2011. There are more than 2,000 Sinhala fishermen from outside the traditional homeland of Eezham Tamils, who are refusing to vacate from the coastal line which they have occupied. The Tamil fishermen from Mullaith-theevu have been repeatedly staging protests and demanding access to their coastal stretch. Tamil officials in Mullaith-theevu, who went to convey the message to Sinhala fishermen were ridiculed, threatened and challenged by the Sinhala fishermen who were citing the backing of the SL military and the same Colombo-based SL Fisheries Ministry, civil sources in Mullaith-theevu told TamilNet on Saturday.

Batti
The location of Naayaa'ru. The occupation of Naayaa'ru comes following the occupation of Mukaththuvaaram and Kokku'laay.


Kokku'laay
The location of Kokku'laay village and lagoon. [Satellite map courtesy: Google Earth]
Target area of Colombo's colonisation
Shown within the box is the target area of Colombo discussed in the feature
The Sinhala fishermen tore apart the official letters that were shown to them, they further said.

Recently, TNA Parliamentarian Charles Nirmalathan had a meeting with the SL Fisheries Minister and claimed that he had received assurances from the SL Fisheries Ministry that occupying Sinhala fishermen would be instructed to leave Naayaa'ru coast.

But, the promise was an empty rhetoric, the representatives of Tamil fishermen’s associations in Mullaith-theevu said on Saturday.

More than 1,500 Sinhala fishermen are now occupying the coastal stretch at Naayaa'ru. They have not only put up vaadis (fishing huts), but also permanent infrastructure installations along with illegal electricity supply.

The intruding fishermen deploy destructive methods to fish causing extensive damage to the ecosystem, Tamil fishermen complain.

The public insult against Tamil officials comes with the backing of occupying Sinhala military.

The insult is similar to the one coming from the occupying extremist monk at Kokku'laay, who is proceeding to construct a Buddhist Establishment completely undeterred by the instructions coming from the Tamil officials at provincial and district level.

In 2011, Rajapaksa government gave ‘official’ permits to 78 Sinhala fishermen. Later, the number was increased with 300. Maithiripala Sirisena's government increased it further with 203 and now there are more than 1,500 Sinhala fishermen occupying the coast and the territorial waters of Eezham Tamils at Naayaa'ru.

For every boat, there are at least 10 to 12 persons. SL military personnel are also in the boats, the Tamil fishermen say.

The Sinhala fishermen have earlier assaulted Tamil GS officers twice.

Naayaa’ru is situated near Ma’nalaa’ru, which has been Sinhalicised into Weli-oya and colonised into a Sinhala-only division  wedging North and East.

Location of Ma'nalaa'ru
The location of the newly Sinhalicised division in the Mullaiththeevu district that will be wedging North and East, created after erasing out traditional Tamil villages and renaming it from Ma'nalaa'ru in Tamil to Weli-Oya in Sinhala. [Satellite image courtesy: Google Earth. Legend by TamilNet]


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