Fishermen launch indefinite strike against Sri Lanka’s fisheries bill

Fishermen launch indefinite strike against Sri Lanka’s fisheries bill


Fishermen launch indefinite strike against Sri Lanka’s fisheries bill


Rameswaram: Mechanized boat fishermen in Rameswaram began an indefinite strike today and threatened to commit mass self immolation to protest against the Sri Lankan government’s new fisheries bill, banning bottom-trawling in its territorial waters, awarding two years imprisonment and levying huge fine for violators. Fisheries officials said the usually busy Rameswaram fishing jetty turned desolate, as over 5,000 fishermen stayed away from the sea. The fishermen anchored about 800 registered mechanized fishing boats at the fishing jetty. Leaders of various fishermen associations alleged that the legislation was aimed at intimidating and preventing fishermen from Tamil Nadu from fishing in the Palk Bay. The fishermen resolved to stage mass self immolation protest in front of the post office at Rameswaram on July 14, they said. N.J.Bose, President of Rameswaram Port Mechanized Boat Fishermen Association said the bill was aimed at crushing the livelihood of the fishers of Tamil Nadu and hence the Centre should prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to withdraw it. He appealed to Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi to take up the issue with Lanka and ensure peaceful fishing in Palk Bay till they switched over to deep sea fishing or given an alternative livelihood by the government. The fishermen were also demanding immediate release of 67 Indian fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan prisons and over 160 fishing boats which were detained by the Island nation for about two years.

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