The perspective of the coastal people of North is that the States of Sri Lanka and India collaborate in the destruction of Eezham Tamils, said Mr N.V. Subramaniam, a fisheries society leader from Maathakal in Jaffna, who is taking part in the Northern Provincial Council elections representing the Tamil National Alliance. Based on his experience in the grassroots activism and participation in the negotiations and meetings held in India and in Colombo, Mr Subramaniam said the coastal people of North had lost all hope in negotiating with the Establishments of both the States. Instead, the only hope for the fishermen now is strengthening the understanding between the fishermen societies across the Palk Strait and also with the fishermen from South in a people-to-people discourse.
The Eezham Tamil fishermen have been facing three external problems so far: poaching trawlers from India, trawlers coming from the South and the intruding fishermen from south who are deploying illegal methods of fishing. But now, adding to the woes, is the arrival of Chinese trawlers carrying Sri Lankan flags fishing in our waters, he said while briefing the journalists in Jaffna on Friday on the plight of fishermen.
150-feet boats from China are fishing in the territorial waters of Eezham Tamils carrying Sri Lankan flags. After the news of the arrival of these Chinese vessels, many more Indian trawlers are poaching close to our coast, he further said.
The average Eezham Tamil fisherman going to the sea using traditional fishing methods is unable to get a catch of 1-2 kg of fish for their survival.
Combined with the interests of exploiters, a big power play is unfolding in the seas. Amidst this, our protests remain useless.
While the fishermen have to struggle for their daily food how can they concentrate on chasing away the Chinese trawlers one day and the Indian trawlers the other day, he questioned adding that the fishermen are now questioning whether there is any further use in continuing their protests adding that there is no political will in Colombo or New Delhi to resolve this. More....