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Sri Lankan navy bars Eelam fishermen from fishing near Sampilthurai

The Sri Lankan navy has barred fisherfolk from fishing along the Mathagal Sampilthurai area in Jaffna, warning them that they are banned from fishing close to the coast where a military-run Buddhist vihara is situated. 

This is not the first time the navy has enforced such a rule in this area. In 2013, fisherfolk were also warned to stay away from fishing close to the same vihara. Fishermen say there have been occasions when the navy has chased them out of the sea if they are found to be fishing in that area. 

Restrictions on Tamil fishermen in the North-East continue, despite almost 15 years having passed since the massacres at Mullivaikkal. Last year, the navy imposed restrictions for those intending to fish close to Vadamarachchi, where clearance was needed.

With the ongoing militarisation of Tamil Eelam, the Sri Lankan military occupation has steadily entered the sphere of public life.

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