The occupying Sri Lanka Navy in Jaffna has again introduced pass system for fishermen engaging in fishing in the Jaffna lagoon, fishing community leaders in Jaffna csaid. During the recent election campaign in the North, the SLgovernment had annonced that it was withdrawing the pass system which has been in practice for several years.
However, the practice is getting re-introduced and the SLN has taken over the control of Jaffna lagoon from the Sri Lanka Army. The SLN which brings fishermen from South and engages in hostilities against the fishermen from Tamil Nadu is engaged in a systematic process of colonisation of Tamil coastal areas in the North by bringing in fishermen from the South to settle in Tamil areas.
Tamil fishermen from Kurunakar, Paasaiyaoor, Naavaanthu’rai and Kaakkai-theevu are forced to register themselves and carry a special pass from the SLN before going to sea and the practice.
Due to the lack of livelihood, almost all the members of most of the fishing families are forced to go fishing and this means every member of the family has to obtain a pass by going to the SLN camp, complained S. Thavaratnam, the president of the federation of fishermens associations in Jaffna.