Solid resistance gives hopes towards resolving fishermen’s problems: Noor Alam

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 November 2016, 22:16 GMT]
Tamil-speaking fishermen in the Northern province have been expressing their sharp opposition against the destructive methods of bottom-trawling and large-scale intrusion by Indian fishermen in the seas off Northern province. Recently, the local fishermen in Musali division of Mannaar district have also been firm in resisting high-level attempts from Colombo that was aiming to create a permanent colony for fishermen from South (Sinhalese) at Kaayaa-kuzhi. Noor Alam Mohammed, the leader of Fisheries Societies in Mannaar said the Tamil-speaking fishermen’s uncompromising stance on fundamental issues have forced the SL fisheries ministry and its counterpart in New Delhi to agree to the demands that have been put forward by the struggling fishermen.



New Delhi has agreed to initiate steps to scrap the destructive bottom trawling deployed by the fishing companies based in Tamil Nadu. The fishermen have also demanded compensation for the losses occurred to them. The SL Ministry was told not to compromise on delivering back the seized trawlers, Mr Alam said.

In the meantime, the fishermen from Musali and Mannaar have categorically told the SL Fisheries ministry in Colombo that the fishing colony, which was being schemed at Kaayaa-kuzhi in Musali should be cancelled. The fishermen in Mannaar were not opposed to fishermen coming from South to engage in fishing in the seas. But, any attempt to create colonies for fishermen from South would be fully opposed by local fishermen, he further said adding that the local fishermen were also satisfied with the interim order issued against the attempt to create a colony at Kaayaa-kuzhi for fishermen from South.

However, it remains to be seen whether Colombo and New Delhi would implement their promises in practice, commented a section of fishermen society members, who were of the opinion that it was too early to trust the establishments.

If the governments in Colombo and New Delhi were to backtrack on their promises, they would face a more reinvigorated resistance from the fishermen, Mr Alam said.

The unity and solidarity, that prevail among the Tamil-speaking fishermen, particularly in Mannaar, regardless of the attempts to divide-and-conquer tactic being applied by Colombo and New Delhi, has made the Colombo and Ne Delhi Establishments to at least admit the demands that have been put forward by the struggling fishermen.


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