3 August, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 10/30/2009
SRI LANKA
Fisher families going hungry in Batticaloa because of illegal fishing and drought
by Melani Manel Perera
Law enforcement is doing nothing to stop illegal fishing methods and punish offenders. Earnings drop from 2,000 to 50 rupees a day.

Batticaloa (AsiaNews) – Small-scale fishermen in the Batticaloa lagoon area will go soon hungry. Drought and illegal fishing, tolerated by local authorities, are wiping out their already meagre earnings.

For months, the coastal area of the North-Eastern Province has not had a drop of rain, and the water level in the lagoon is so low that bottom rocks are starting to surface making fishing impossible.

But a fickle nature is not the only thing making it hard for the 70 or so fishing families that live in the area. Authorities turning a blind eye to law breaking is another aggravating factor.  

“The main problem is the use of illegal gear by some locals,” Mattakkali Co-operative Fisheries Organisation secretary Nagarasa Sivanesharasaa told AsiaNews. Disco nets and other destructive gear are devastating on the environment, both plant and animal life.

The first ban on destructive gear came into effect in 1996, but since 21 July of this year, the rule applies to the whole country.

Yet in the district of Batticaloa, illegality is widespread. And fishermen blame the authorities for looking away. For the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO), this “is a clear example of why we need democracy in the country. The law should be upheld again.”

Nalliya Yoganayagam, a local fisherman and father of four, is devastated. “Last year I made about 2,000 rupees a day (US$ 16), but yesterday I only earned about 500 and today 50.

“There are about 500 fishermen who use illegal fishing gear, which the Fisheries Department had banned, but with the support of police and the army they continue to using them, untroubled,” said some fishermen from the area between Kalladi and Navalladi.

Afraid of possible retaliation, they withheld their name or refused to be photographed.

“Bans do not apply to friends of the authorities,” they said. “Nine fishermen were stopped last week for destructive fishing gear. They were even taken to court but no action was taken against them.”

Everything is scooped up as a result of illegal fishing in the high seas; little is left for those who respect the rules and remain within the four-kilometre zone.

“All we need is to have this illegal fishing stopped and the ban enforced,” said NAFSO secretary Herman Kumara. Sadly, what is happening in Batticaloa “is another example of the state of the rule of law in our country.”

In view of what the Supreme Court ruled (see Melani Manel Perera, “Sri Lanka, fishermen win the war: invasive techniques banned,” in AsiaNews, 24 July 2009), offenders should be reported to the police, which should then proceed against them.

“When you see police violate the law, how can we have trust and report them to the same authority,” he said.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/16/2010 SRI LANKA
Eleven People’s Tribunals for Sri Lanka’s landless to move the government
by Melani Manel Perera
01/12/2009 SRI LANKA
Aid for northern fishermen who fled the war between Tamil Tigers and the army
by Melani Manel Perera
07/21/2009 SRI LANKA
IMF to provide a US$ 2.5 billion loan, but government forgets the poor
by Melani Manel Perera
08/06/2010 SRI LANKA
Villages destroyed, residents driven out to develop tourist sector
by Melani Manel Perera
01/21/2008 SRI LANKA
Urgent need to create safer working conditions for fishermen
by Melani Manel Perera

Editor's choices
CHINA
Unofficial catholic community of Wenzhou speak out against forced demolition of Crosses, whole diocese fasting
by Joseph YuanAfter 90-year-old Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou led 26 priests of the open Church community to protest against the government’s act to demolish Crosses, Coadjutor Bishop James Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou also led his priests to issue an open statement “Strongly demand a halt to demolish Crosses on all churches.
CHINA
Wenzhou: 90-year-old bishop and 26 priests protest against cross demolitions
by Joseph YuanThis is not the first time that the old bishop and his priests speak out against the demolition campaign against crosses and churches, which has touched more than 400 buildings. During the protest, police tried to disperse the group, which sought to submit a petition. The faithful recite a Crown of the Divine Mercy is in support of the Chinese Church. In Lishui, churches are expected to be torn down by 31 August.
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.