Secretary of the World Forum of Fisher People (WFFP), Mohammed Ali Shah has expressed concerns over the death of several fishermen in Sri Lanka.
Shah, who is also chairperson of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), on behalf of the communities in Pakistan expressed solidarity with the Sri Lankan fishermen.
In a statement issued from the WFFP Secretariat in Karachi, Shah appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, DG, Metrological Department, Sri Lanka S.H. Kariyawasam, Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Disaster Management and the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Pakistan to launch an independent inquiry in to the incident and see if there is any negligence on the part of government officials.
The WFFP Secretariat has written separate letters to the government of Srilanka, including to the President, disaster minister and other authorities urging them to compensate not only to the funerals and the final respects of the people, but to the affected vulnerable families, children in the families, for their education and other matters adequately.
“It is a must to ensure an effective disaster risk information scheme with the responsibility of national interest and reactivate the established disaster information towers along the coast for an effective service,” the statement said.
The WFP Secretary advised the Sri Lankan government to develop a workable plan with proper consultation of fisher groups and promote a subsidy system so the fishermen may purchase life jackets and other equipment they need on the fishing vessels.
Shah also said to utilize the learning of tsunami rehabilitation programs to make an effective disaster mitigation program with wider participation of the society to avoid human loss in future.
The WFFP official said the whole government should take the responsibility and be accountable, as nature is going to be alarmed due to climate change and fishermen are more vulnerable to face the devastation and pay the price of the government’s negligence, the statement said.