Occupying SL Navy continues to intimidate Tamil fishermen in Mannaar
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 April 2015, 19:01 GMT]
The occupying Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) sailors manning the Periya-kadai jetty, situated at the entrance to the city of Mannaar, are unrelenting in their oppression being meted out to the Tamil fishermen from five village (GS) divisions, fishermen's representatives complain. Although there are no official restrictions on Mannaar fishermen accessing their territorial sea, the SL Navy is checking everyone embarking on fishing every day. The names of the fishermen, their fishing vessels are registered. Their fishing catches are being monitored on a daily basis. The SLN personnel present at the check post also use to seize portions of their catches sometimes, the fishermen further complain.
Despite the ‘good governance’ propaganda of the ‘new’ regime in Colombo, the Sinhala sailors of the SLN are continuing their interrogation-style monitoring of the fishing activities of the Tamil fishermen at the check post.
Such monitoring and harassment are not witnessed at the jetties used by Tamil-speaking Muslim fishermen at Thalaimannaar Pier, Karisal, Puthuk-kudiyiruppu, and Erukkalam-piddi, the fishermen from Periya-kadai told TamilNet.
The SLN check post is situated a few meters near the court complex of Mannaar on Mannaar - Medawachiya Road, under the bridge connecting the Mannaar island with the mainland.
Fishermen from 1,500 - 2,000 fishing families use this jetty. The people from three of the five GS divisions, Panangkaddi-koddu East, Panangkaddi-koddu West and Emil-nakar, are entirely dependent on fishing to sustain their livelihood. A significant number of fishermen from South Bar and Periya-kadai also use the jetty which comes under the GS division of Periya-kadai.
The fishermen are being particularly targeted because they are Tamils, the representatives of the fishermen told TamilNet.