Fishermen in Tamil Nadu and Jaffna stage protests

201607121008093469_Indefinite-stir-at-Rameswaram-to-free-fishermen-jailed-in_SECVPFOver a thousand Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen from the four coastal districts of the Northern Province demonstrated in front of the Northern Provincial Council at Kaithady in Jaffna today protesting against a reported proposal to allow 250 Tamil Nadu trawlers to fish in North Lankan waters on specified days.

K.Rajachandran, President of the Ambal Fishermen’s Cooperative of Karainagar in Jaffna, told the New Indian Express that the fishermen presented a memorandum to the Northern Provincial Minister of Education T.Kurukularajah, delineating the immense harm that would be done to the north Lankan Tamil fishermen’s livelihood if TN fishermen were given this facility.

Rajachandran said that crossing the international maritime boundary line is illegal and that on no account, the Lankan government should allow TN fishermen to cross and poach in Sri Lankan waters.

More specifically, the measure would jeopardize the livelihood of Lankan Tamil fishermen as they had started fishing only recently after a 30 year disruption imposed by the war and naval restrictions, he said.

Meanwhile Daily Thanthi reported that in the wake of alleged attacks on Rameswaram fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy on Saturday night, members attached to All Rameswaram Mechanised Boat Fishermen Association convened an emergency meeting last Sunday to discuss the future course of action. It was decided at the meeting to launch an indefinite strike from yesterday to pressurise both the state and the central governments to initiate steps to release their jailed brothers.

As planned, all the fishermen participated in the indefinite strike that began yesterday and did not venture into sea. Over 700 mechanised boats in the Rameswaram and Pamban areas remained anchored. (Colombo Gazette)