Fishermen’s subsidy issues fuel protest in Dewinuwara

Fishermen’s subsidy issues fuel protest in Dewinuwara

Written by Bella Dalima

27 Jun, 2014 | 8:34 pm

Fishermen in several parts of the country, sought to turn public attention to the myriad of problems faced by them today.A group of fishermen who staged a protest march from the Devinuwara Fisheries Harbour to the Shri Vishnu Devalaya, held a demonstration opposite the shrine.

The protesters demanded that the fishermen’s fuel subsidy be re-instated.

Our reporter says that vehicular traffic on the Tangalle – Matara road was obstructed from about half an hour as a result of this demonstration. Several shops in the Devinuwara town too were closed down parallel to this protest.

Speaking at an event held in Weeraketiya on Friday, UNP Parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa too commented on this issue.

UNP Parliamentarian, Sajith Premadasa expressed these views:

[quote]The fishing community of this country has been abandoned altogether. The government thinks that the fishing industry is conducted on land. They can spend huge sums of money on wasteful projects. They can hold motor races for two days in front of the historic temple of the tooth relic. They can use these racing cars to hold racing carnivals for the sons and daughters of the bigwigs. They can even bring down foreign dancers to perform at these races. They have enough money to do all these things. But the government doesn’t have money to grant a fuel subsidy for fishermen. Why does the government not listen when we submit that the ordinary man should be treated well?[/quote]

A group of fishermen who were returning to shore after setting out from the Hambantota Fisheries Harbour, were faced with a situation as they approached the harbour, owing to sudden strong swells which occurred near the breakwater.

The fishermen charge that the strong waves were caused owing to the failure to remove sand near the mouth of the harbour.

Fishermen from Dodamduwa and surrounding areas in Galle, staged a demonstration on Friday morning, blocking the Galle Road opposite the Dodamduwa Fisheries Harbour. The protesters demanded that the authorities take measures to renovate the breakwater at the fisheries harbour.

The protest was prompted by the disappearance of a fisherman from the area who had set out to sea from another area and went missing after his boat capsized in the seas off Rumassala.

Eight of the nine fishermen on board the vessel had survived. Another fishermen was reported missing after his raft capsized in the seas off Wellawatte. Police say that the raft had capsized about one kilometre off shore at about 10:40 on Thursday night. The missing fisherman was a forty-year-old resident of Wellawatte.

Two of the three fishermen on board the raft had survived.

Fresh water fishermen at the Senanayake Samudraya in Iginiyagala, refrained from going to work on Friday.

The fishermen were protesting against the construction of a fisheries pier in Baduluwela, citing political interference.They say that the pier will adversely effect the Dambadeniara area of the Senanayake Samudraya, which is a breeding ground for freshwater fish.

Fishermen in Puttalam too staged a demonstration on Friday against plans to draw high tension power cables from the Norochcholai Power Plant across the Puttlam lagoon.

 

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