A Tamil fisherman who was attacked and bitten by Sri Lankan sailors last week has spoken out about the assault, stating that the military “behaved like cannibals”.
Though the fishermen initially feared reprisals if they spoke out about the attack, they gave statements after news of the assault reached other Sri Lankan authorities.
“One (of us) was bitten, I was hit on the head, our clothes were torn, our fishing gear plucked from our hand and thrown away,” said 25-year-old Pakianathan Julian in a statement to police. “We were assaulted with our own gear. They behaved like cannibals.”
The statement adds that the Sri Lankan sailors were intoxicated at the time and only stopped assaulting the Tamil fishermen after one had a bleeding head injury.
The attack began after the fishermen noticed the sailors had been caught trying to steal the propeller of an Indian fishing trawler anchored in the harbour.
“When we inspected our boat there were some things missing. But fearing they would do something to (hurt) us, we did not complain to the police,” added Julian. See more from JDS Lanka here.