The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Tamil Nadu fishermen helping LTTE: Lanka

Tamil Nadu’s fishermen bitterly complain that the Sri Lankan Navy is aggressively preventing them from exercising their “traditional right” to fish in the Palk Strait, especially around Katchchativu island, which was ceded to Sri Lanka in the 1970s.

But the Sri Lanka Navy contends that the problem is not about Tamil Nadu fishermen poaching around Kachchativu, but the massive daily intrusion of these fishermen into Sri Lankan waters very near Mannar and Jaffna, posing a major security threat to North Sri Lanka.

“They not only poach fish, but smuggle in fuel and other war-like material for the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam),” Sri Lankan navy’s spokesman, Commodore DKP Dassanayake, told Express here on Tuesday.

For example, between June 6, 2007 and July 7 this year, asmany as 6,839 Indian fishing boats were seen off the north Sri Lankan coast, especially Thalaimannar, Pesalai and Delft island.

“These boats carry fuel, bicycle balls and explosives for the LTTE. Several of them have been seen heading towards Viduthalthivu and other places, presently under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.”

“We also learn that each boat gives 20 litres of fuel as a bribe to the LTTE to be able to fish in this area. Just imagine the amount of fuel that the LTTE must be getting on a daily basis from these fishermen,” Dassanayake said.

The Indian fishermen, however, claim complete innocence. They never admit that they go up to the Sri Lankan shores, leave alone admitting to any dealings with the LTTE.

Source: newindpress