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Occupation of coast prolongs suffering of Trincomalee fishing communities

The Sri Lankan state’s failure to release coastal land in Trincomalee has meant that many of the district’s fishing communities remain displaced and struggle to carry out their livelihood.

Representatives of Tamil fishing communities across the district met to discuss the ongoing challenges at a meeting of the Trincomalee District Fishing Association on Saturday.

Residents of several villages stated that their homes and livelihood lands remained occupied by the state, including Soodaikuda, Ilankanthai, Veeramanagar, 10th Kurichi and Thirukadalur.

With most communities forced to displace further away from the coast during the war, travel time and cost also proved a huge obstacle to engaging in fishing.

Of some villages that had been officially returned, landowners had still not received official documentation and are therefore still denied access, some representatives said.