30 June, 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


» 02/14/2012
SRI LANKA
Govt ignores fuel protest by thousands of Catholic fishermen
by Melani Manel Perera
A Negombo men, women and children from Western Province block roads, torch street signs and burn tyres. They fear higher fuel prices will wipe out small-scale fishery. Fisheries minister agrees to subsidies but says price hike will go ahead.

Negombo (AsiaNews) – “We do not need relief assistance or subsidies, we only need humane and sustainable prices. Otherwise, the government will sanction our end and that of small-scale fishing,” some fishermen told AsiaNews. Since yesterday, thousands of them, mostly from Sri Lanka’s Western Province, have blocked roads in Negombo to protest higher fuel prices. So far, the government has ignored their demands. Card Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, Vicar General Farther Pattric Perera, Father Lester Nonis the Coordinator of Fisheries affairs and another Two Parish Priests of Negombo have come and talked to protesters and requested to stop the protest. They had come out in favour of the protest, trying to speak in person with Fisheries Minister Rajith Senarathna who, however, said that the government would provide subsidies but not reduce prices.

Fuel prices went up overnight Saturday. Diesel increased by 31 rupees a litre (US $0.25), gasoline increased by 12 rupees 8US $ 0.10  and kerosene increased by 35 rupees (US $ 0.30).

Protesting fishermen are from Negombo, Kochchikade, Wennappuwa, Marawila, Chilaw and Mannar, coastal villages and towns in the Western and North Western provinces. Some 5,000 men, women and children are from Negombo lagoon alone.

On Sunday, fishermen from the Northern Province raised black flags and moored their boats for a day in solidarity with protesters in Colombo.

The demonstration has been peaceful so far, but tensions flared yesterday when protesters torched some road signs and set fire to tyres.

“Usually, a fibber replaced plastic (FRP) boat spends LRK 3,000 (US$ 25) a day in fuel. With the new prices, it will take LKR 4,500 (US$ 37.5),” one fisherman said. “That is something we small fishermen cannot sustain.”

“This time it’s too much. They cannot bear up at all,” said Herman Kumara, national convener of National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO), as he spoke about fishermen’s predicament.

Sri Lanka’s Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA), the largest private bus operators union in the country with 20,000 private buses, also ended its strike last night after reaching an agreement with the government to raise fare by 20 per cent.

For his part, Minister Senarathna on state TV and radio slammed Catholic priests and by NGOs for supporting the fishermen’s protests. He insisted that subsidies, not prices, were negotiable.

Under the government’s scheme, fishermen would get back LKR 25 (US$ 0,20) for kerosene and 12 (S$ 0,10) for diesel.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/13/2007 SRI LANKA
Fishermen protest against higher kerosene prices
by Melani Manel Perera
06/21/2012 SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka, a father commits suicide because he cannot support his family
by Melani Manel Perera
07/03/2008 ASIA
New record for oil, repercussions in Asia
02/20/2012 SRI LANKA
Catholic fisherman's killing by police a "beastly deed"
by Melani Manel Perera
02/16/2012 SRI LANKA
One person dies in clashes with police as fuel protests spread
by Melani Manel Perera

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

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.