Written By NAFSO on Friday, December 11, 2009 | 8:20:00 AM
Srivimukthi Fisher Women’s organization together with Negombo Lagoon Fishermen’s organization launched a protest today demanding their rights to fish in the lagoon without a pressure of SL NEVI and to take immediate action against illegal fishing practices in the sea as well as the lagoon.
These are the two main issues they demand from the protest.
This protest was held in Negombo near the Pitipana Lellama (Fish Market) with more than 200 fishermen, Fisher Women an also some other civil society activist who are working as a net work of National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO).
At the end of the protest, the National Convener of National Fisheries Solidarity Movement Mr. Herman Kumara was addressing protestors how to continue our struggle for fisher’s rights.
“We hope to hand over a petition to Police HQI and the Negombo DFO demanding our rights and we urge the government to take immediate action to arrest people who use these illegal fishing practices with the support of political power and let lagoon fishermen to fish in the lagoon without any fear of such an attack of Nevi again” He further added to end of this protest.
Before the end of his addressing, some political thug interrupted him to stop this work while he was talking to fishermen there. When the fisher women involved explaining him about the incident and the objective of the protest, he was not agreed to listen them and tried to beat those fisher women also blaming them very badly. He is one of the merchants who exploit small scale fishermen as a middleman according to the fisher women who joined with the protest.
Although there was such a barrier for this campaign, the fishermen could successfully proceeded protest until handing over the petition to Assistant Director of Fisheries Office Negombo and to Police HQI Mr. Somasiri for taking action as responsible authorities in this regards.
“We are not here to support any political party or we are not working according to the agendas of politicians. We launched this protest today for our rights and keep remember these fishing lands Pitipana Lellama (Fish Market) are our traditional land. Therefore nobody can stop wherever we held our protest in Pitipana Lellama (Fish Market)”
Finally added Ms. Nirmala Fernando a fisher women joined with this protest addressing media.