Residents of a Mannar fishing village have protested against the Sri Lankan Navy’s ongoing harassment and intrusion into their livelihoods.
The fishing community of Talaimannar expressed their anger at the constant intrusions and hindrances by the Sri Lankan Navy into carrying out their livelihood, particularly with regards to blocking access to an islet (Theedai) and its surrounding waters.
The Talaimannar residents said that they first struggled to regain permission to fish in their traditional areas when the wildlife department attempted to block them off for ‘conservation reasons’.
Having regained permission from the government, they are still being constantly hindered by the Navy, with the situation escalating last week when navy personnel made threats of violence to turn away the fishermen.
The community engaged in a roadblock protest outside Talaimannar police station on Monday, demanding that the Navy be withdrawn from their areas and stop intruding into their livelihoods.