SL Navy militarises Jaffna lagoon
Sri Lanka Navy and Army have denied resettled fishermen along a major part of Jaffna lagoon from accessing their sea from Sunday, citing training purposes of the military at a major cantonment of the occupying SL military at Allaarai on Chaavakachcheari – Kachchaay Road. The SL military has blocked the fishing boats from Koayilkudiyiruppu on Sunday giving instructions to the fishermen that the entire stretch from Chavakachcheari to Kachchaay will remain blocked until further notice, representatives of fishermen from Koayilkudiyiruppu in Chavakachcheari told TamilNet Monday. The SL military has also said that access to sea will be blocked five to ten days every month in future.
The Eezham Tamil fishermen, most of them resettled after the war and are dependent on fishing prawns, squid and crabs in the shallow waters of the lagoon, complain that they are again being deprived of their livelihood by the SL military.
During the war, the intense shelling from the Allarai base forced the fishermen to flee from their coastal villages and finally displace from the area as the fighting intensified. The fishing in the shallow waters remained blocked almost for 10 years in the past.
After the war, the SL government announced that it was opening Ki’liaali area, situated south of Kachchaay, for resettlement and more than 150 families resettled in Ki’laali after 16 years.
However, after the families moved in, the SL military started to put up barbed wires along the coastal belt barring the fishermen from entering the sea and depriving them from resuming their livelihood activities. The resettled families in Ki’laali are now considering to move away from Ki’laali, the fishermen representatives further said.
The move is viewed as part of a systematic process of colonisation of Tamil coastal areas in the North.