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Myliddy fishermen struggle to rebuild livelihood with inadequate government support

Myliddy fishermen are struggling to work from the recently released Myliddy fishing harbour, having received no support or compensation from the Sri Lankan government.

The Myliddy Fishing Union said that although fishermen have shown enthusiasm to fish from their traditional jetty, they have had almost no support in resettling their livelihood there.

While around 300 fishermen have wanted to use the jetty, the resettlement ministry has only provided 5 fishing boats. The Myliddy Fishing Union which was made responsible for the boats has said that with so few boats, the organisation struggles to divide and assign time on the boats to members.

The people of Myliddy left all their fishing boats behind when forced to leave by Sri Lankan military forces on June 15 1990.

When the public were given access to the Myliddy jetty and some 54 acres of land surrounding it, they returned to find that after 27 years under Sri Lankan Navy occupation all the fishing infrastructure such as rest homes and fish processing places were destroyed, and all their fishing boats gone.

The continued occupation and cordoning off of certain roads in the area has also meant that fishermen must expend significantly higher time and fuel costs to reach the jetty.

According to the Myliddy Fishing Union, 650 families displaced from 3 Myliddi GS divisions are living in Point Pedro, and another estimated 850 families are in welfare camps in Tamil Nadu and other places.

At the time of displacement, around 300 families were involved in fishing but this number has gone up over the last 27 years.

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