"New fishing regulations breach cease-fire agreement" - SLMC MP

[TamilNet, Monday, 10 June 2002, 17:03 GMT]
"The Sri Lanka government's gazette notification of the fishing restriction issued last month is a clear breach of the cease-fire agreement the government signed with the Liberation Tigers," said Mr.K.M.Thowfeek, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress parliamentarian for the Trincomalee district at a discussion organised by the Trincomalee Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) held at the Kinniya divisional secretariat Monday morning.

He appealed to the head of the Trincomalee SLMM to take up this matter with the government.The SLMC is a constituent of the United National Front (UNF) government.

thowfeek_kuchchaveli_160502.jpgMr.Thowfeek said that at a time when people thought that with the implementation of the ceasefire agreement all restrictions on fishing would be withdrawn, the new regulation restricting fishing from Trincomalee to Mannar has been introduced causing much difficulty to fishermen.

Mr.Matti Puoskari, head of the sea monitors of the SLMM in Trincomalee, said, "Sri Lanka Navy officials in Trincomalee have told us that they have received orders from their superiors in Colombo that fishing restrictions have been imposed; fishermen who wanted to enter restricted areas in the sea should obtain written permission from the Competent Authority under the new regulation. I have discussed this matter with the SLN officials and I have informed the Colombo office of the SLMM about this restriction."

All SLMM members in Trincomalee, including the Venerable Saranaka Keerthi Thera and Mr.K.M.H.Akbar, Attorney at-Law Mr.K.Sivapalan and Mr.R.Tharmalingam attended the discussion. The former two were appointed by the SL government, and the latter two were nominated by the LTTE.

The Trincomalee SLMM now conducts awareness discussions at divisional level in Trincomalee district on the cease-fire agreement. The third in the series was held at Kinniya Monday with the acting head of the Trincomalee SLMM Mr. Pontius Westrom in the chair. Two awareness discussions earlier were held in the Muttur and Nilaveli divisions in the district.


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