Sri Lankan fishermen to protest tomorrow against encroaching Indian fishermen

Aug 07, Colombo: Sri Lankan fishermen are to hold a protest on the Mannar coast tomorrow against the encroaching of Indian fishermen into Sri Lankan waters.

The All Ceylon Fisher Folk Trade Union (ACFFTU) has said that 36 fisheries organizations are to participate in the protest.

The protesting fishermen are to form a human chain along the Mannar coast to mark their protest.

Secretary of the ACFFTU, Dinesh Fernando has said that although the issue had been raised with the Sri Lanka Navy and the fisheries authorities, there has not been any change in the status quo.

Fernando has said that local fishermen are being held in Indian jails under extremely poor conditions while the Indian fishermen continue to plunder resources in Sri Lankan waters.

India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna last Thursday in a statement said a total of 104 Sri Lankan fishermen are still in Indian custody whereas all Indian fishermen apprehended on charges of fishing related violations in Sri Lanka have been released.

Meanwhile, Spokesperson for the Jaffna Fishermen’s Co-operative Society, S. Thavaratnam has said that though the number of the Indian poachers had declined they were still a nuisance and a threat to local fishermen.

The problem of encroaching Indian fishermen has affected local fishermen off the Gulf of Mannar and the Kalpitiya-Puttalam coastline.

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