By P. Krishnaswamy
The TNA that is pontificating over the human rights of the Tamils, merely for political mileage, should accept responsibility for the current hardships and livelihood problems faced by the Northern fishermen due to poaching, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Sarath Kumara Gunaratne said. While political leaders across the Palk Straits continue to make a big hue and cry over the arrest and detention of poachers who have added to the depletion of fish resources in the North, through their prohibited methods of poaching and have posed a threat to the livelihood of over 100,000 families, the TNA keeps mum over this grave problem faced by the people it claims to represent, Gunaratne said.
Tamil Nadu political leaders have always blamed the Sri Lankan Navy for performing its duty of protecting Sri Lanka’s territorial waters and its marine resources. They have also levelled serious and unfounded allegations against the Navy. However, the TNA has failed to explain to them the life and death problems faced by fishermen.
Even during its recent meeting with the delegation of the Indian opposition parties, which met the TNA they never uttered a word on this issue, the Deputy Minister said. It is a great injustice that is being done to the Northern fishermen who had suffered untold hardships and had lost much due to the three-decade battle against terrorism, he said.
Poaching which causes the destruction of our fertile marine resources and pose a threat to the livelihood of fishermen is certainly a human rights issue and everyone, here and abroad, clamouring over human rights matters should take up this issue with the relevant authorities, the Deputy Minister said.