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No force can suppress fishermen’s issues – Minister

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The discussion in progress.

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda said that no force can suppress him when he involves in fishermen’s issues.

The Fisheries Minister was participating at a meeting with the representatives of Fishermen’s associations from Northern Province on July 19 at the Fisheries Ministry, Colombo.

The Minister added that as a politician throughout the past he involved in people’s issues especially for the Northern and Eastern fishermen’s issues before he took over the Fisheries Minister and after he assumed duties as the Minister he expanded his involvement to these issues and he will never reverse his involvements.

The Minister further said that the leaders like Prabhakaran had tried to suppress him, but they couldn’t. No such other forces would be able to suppress him in the future as well.

The representatives at the meeting said that their livelihood is affected since the marine resources in the Northern Sea have been destroyed by Indian Fishermen’s bottom trawling fishing activities. As a result of these activities small fish as well as the coral reefs are affected and there is a threat of extinction of marine resources in Northern and Eastern sea. They have further pointed out that foreign exchange income is lost since the Indian Fishermen catch sea cucumber and Prawn on a large scale.

The Minister said that he values the views of the Fishermen’s Associations in the North and he joins the Indian tour of the President to make aware of the State heads regarding the stoppage of these illegal fishing activities. The Tamil National Alliance visits the Embassies and provides false information about the Government but they don’t discuss the problems of the people who elected them as their representatives. They should visit the Indian High Commission and discuss this issue and explain this issue to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu as well.

Otherwise, they should act against the Indian fishermen’s attempt to depict this issue as a problem between Sri Lankan armed forces and the Indian armed forces. This issue should be pointed out as a humanitarian problem.

However, during the tour he hopes to draw the attention of State Heads including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modhi and try to bring out a solution to this issue and to discuss regarding the possible aids to Fishermen by the Indian Government.

A group of officials including the Fisheries Ministry Secretary Indu Rathnayake and Fisheries Department Director General Susantha Kahawatta were present.

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