Fishermen, of Hendala, Elakanda Palliyawatta and Dickowita have complained to the Minister of Fisheries Felix Perera that they are facing severe difficulties and are in danger of losing their only source of living due to the navy forbidding small boats and canoes fishing in the Kelani River estaurial waters. They told the Minister, whom they met at his residence in Ja-Ela, that only day boats and multi day boats have been allowed access through the Kelani River from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry Secretary, E. Jinadasa, Western Naval Commander Rear Admiral, B. A. J. A. Pieris, W/N division the ASP in-charge of the North Western Division, D. W. Prathapasinha, Chief Security Personal and Senior Officers of the Defence Ministry and the NARA Institute participated in the discussion.
Fisheries representatives pledged support and assistance to the armed forces to fulfil their duties and told the Minister that the recent restrictions placed on the fishing folk are not justifiable.
The Naval Commander explained about the LTTE threats on the security position in the Colombo Port.
The fishermen rejected the decision of the Minister to provide compensation for those who lose their jobs in the new process.
The Minister said measures would be taken soon after further discussions with the Naval Commander and the Defence Secretary, to ameliorate the conditions of the fishermen.