Sri Lanka Launches Anti-Indian Poacher Flotilla

Fishers in Sri Lanka have launched urging that the government prohibit Indian trawlers from stealing in the island’s prawn-rich northern waters.

Boats carrying opposition legislators traveled 100 km from Mullaittivu in the northeast to Point Pedro in the north.

“We have come in boats to protest bottom trawling by Indian fishermen,” M.A. Sumanthiran, a legislator for the main Tamil opposition party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), told reporters in Point Pedro.

The TNA stated that it was opposing the Sri Lankan authorities’ failure to end Indian fisherman poaching and defend impoverished indigenous fishing communities.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez reported that the fishermen have been complaining for years.

“At the root of it is a livelihood. It’s about Sri Lankan fishermen struggling to make ends meet, and what they say is mass-scale poaching by Indian fishing boats that come into Sri Lankan waters and take valuable fish stocks away with them,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez stated that demonstrators are pleading with the government to enforce the legislation introduced in 2017 more vigorously and ensure that all perpetrators are held accountable.

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