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Sri Lankan Navy imposes restrictions on Tamil fishermen in Vadamarachchi

Douglas Devananda, the Minister for Fisheries announced that fishermen in the Vadamarachchi are now required to obtain clearance from the Navy before going out into the sea. 

The announcement was made at the Jaffna District Secretariat office on the 29th of March. 

When elaborating, he mentioned that these measures are being taken to clamp down on illegal fishing methods such as the use of calp nets in fishing. These measures were once again coming into force following the complaints from many fishermen that there had been an increase in illegal activities at sea. 

With the ongoing militarization of the Jaffna peninsula, the military has steadily entered the sphere of public life. This policy at hand, despite the rhetoric of protecting the oceanic resources of the North being implemented by the Fisheries Ministry, is expected to inconvenience fishermen greatly.

Devananda heads the notorious Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), a paramilitary organisation that continues to remain close to the Rajapaksas. Devananda, was elected to Parliament in 1994 and aligned with the government as it battled against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and launched multiple military offensives. He has been rewarded with several ministerial posts throughout the years, including Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, Minister of Agriculture, Marketing Development, Hindu Education Affairs and currently remains the Minister of fisheries.

In 2012, the Sri Lankan government sent him to the UN Human Rights Council as part of its official delegation to Geneva.

Throughout the armed conflict the EPDP was armed and backed by the Sri Lankan state, carrying out a series of war crimes and other human rights violations. 

Abductions, murders and prostitution rings – The story of Douglas Devananda, who is still a Sri Lankan minister

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