Indian fishermen are crossing the maritime boundary, the Federation of Jaffna District Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Unions mentioned in a letter submitted on the Indian Consulate
Sri Lanka’s northern fishermen need government in India and Sri Lanka to urgently step up motion to unravel the long-persisting struggle within the Palk Strait, fearing tensions with Indian fishermen may escalate.
In a letter submitted on the Indian Consulate in Jaffna ultimate week, the Federation of Jaffna District Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Unions pointed to the perils of bottom-trawling and pair-trawling fishing strategies — repeatedly utilized by Tamil Nadu fishermen — leading to a significantly smaller catch and widespread injury to their modest fishing tools.
“We’re very frightened that regardless of discussing this drawback for greater than 10 years now, there was no ahead motion or an answer till now. Indian fishermen crossing the maritime boundary and fishing in our waters has ended in large losses amounting a number of crores to our fishermen,” mentioned the letter dated October 10, 2021.
The fisher associations have additionally sought reimbursement from Indian government to deal with the monetary losses. Having braved the civil warfare, the displacement and dispossession that got here with it, the northern fishermen had been suffering to rebuild their livelihoods post-war.
Then again, the continued struggle with Indian fishermen — most commonly from Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram and Nagapattinam districts — has significantly impacted the revival in their livelihoods.
Assaults at sea
The fishermen’s considerations, voiced within the contemporary letter, additionally come amid experiences of Tamil Nadu fishermen being attacked at sea, allegedly by means of their Sri Lankan opposite numbers. Fishermen’s teams alongside Tamil Nadu’s coastal belt held protests ultimate month, condemning the assaults.
Tamil Nadu has time and again accused the Sri Lankan Military of attacking or killing its fishermen within the Palk Strait, together with in January this yr, when Samson Darwin, 28), A. Mesiya, 30, V. Nagaraj, 52, and S. Senthil Kumar, 32, from Ramanathapuram returned useless.
Sri Lankan government have denied the allegations. Whilst New Delhi conveyed “robust protest” over the incident then, there’s no phrase but at the promised probe into their deaths, both govt. The investigation into the capturing of Okay. Britjo in March 2017 too has observed no replace within the 4 years since.
Additionally learn: Floor 0: Palk Bay fishing dispute | Casting the web in a sea of struggle
Then again, the hot allegations made by means of Tamil Nadu fishermen in opposition to fellow fishermen in Sri Lanka have sparked critical fear.
“It is a very unhealthy building. Regardless of our confrontation with our brothers in Tamil Nadu, we’ve at all times been in cohesion. Now we have relied simplest on discussion and not resorted to violence. We worry that sure political forces are instigating some teams to hold out those assaults,” a fishermen’s affiliation consultant in Jaffna instructed The Hindu, asking for anonymity.
“Earlier than this escalates, each governments should take swift and decisive motion,” he mentioned.
In the meantime, addressing a media convention, Jaffna legislator M.A. Sumanthiran accused Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda of frightening violence amongst fishermen of the 2 nations. “Since he’s the topic minister, that too from Jaffna, he’s in a excellent place to put in force the rules we’ve in position to do so on unlawful fishing and backside trawling. I beg all our fishermen to answer this drawback in democratic tactics, and no longer lodge to violence at any value,” he mentioned, calling for a relaxed protest subsequent weekend.
Minister Devananda has no longer commented up to now at the allegation.