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30 Tamil fishermen arrested in Kilinochchi

Photo of a Sri Lankan Navy vessel

Sri Lanka’s Navy has arrested 30 Tamil fishermen off Poonakary, in northern Kilinochchi, as the navy continues to intensify its patrols.

This announcement follows Fisheries Minister, and accused human rights abuser, Douglas Devananda, introducing a set of restrictions to limit fishing to only permit holders.

According to the World Socialist Website, the Navy beat and kicked the fishermen before arresting them. Two fishermen, who had pleaded to board the ship, were abandoned and forced to swim seven nautical miles to survive.

All of the fishermen were from Kiranchchi village in Poonakary, and were denied food and water for over 17 hours. Their injuries were left untreated. They have been charged with illegal fishing and if convicted could be fined 25,000 rupees, equivalent to one or two months income of a fisherman in the area.

The arrest follows a similar incident on 7 January, where the navy attacked and arrested 23 fishermen. In the last two weeks of March, Sri Lanka's Navy, announced that it had caught 75 people engaging in illegal fishing.

In February, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar condemned the treatment of Tamil fishermen by Sri Lanka’s Navy following the deaths of 4 fishermen. M. Thambidurai, leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), has reported that thus far 245 Tamil Nadu fishermen have been killed in Sri Lanka.

Read more here.


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