Tamil fishermen have returned to setting up business in Kokkilai in Mullaitivu, over the weekend, braving threats from Sinhala Buddhist monks and police officers.
The fishermen were threated last week and had their equipment destroyed, forcing them to flee from Kokkilai, astensions rose in the area.
Following a complaint to the Sri Lankan government divisional secretary by Northern Provincial Council member T Ravikaran, a ‘Kottu’ permission deed was issued to the Tamil fishermen, reaffirming their right to conduct business in the area.
A complaint lodged by Sinhala fishermen against Tamil fishermen at Mullaitivu Police Station was also quashed.
However, despite the legal ruling, the Tamils report they still face instances of intimidation. Government investigators came and photographed them on Friday, they alleged.
Despite this they continued to set up their fish drying equipment undeterred on Friday.
The traditionally Tamil region has seen extensive state sponsored settling of Sinhala fishermen report Tamil politicians, who state that the Sinhalese receive active support from Sri Lanka’s security forces (see here and here).
See our earlier post: Sinhala Buddhist monks and Sri Lankan police threaten Tamil fishermen (20 Jul 2016)