Hakeem intervenes in simmering Trinco dispute

Over disputed call to oust migrating fishermen



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By Shamindra Ferdinando


A group of Trincomalee fishermen has launched a protest campaign demanding that migrant fishermen be prevented from operating in the eastern waters.


 Fishermen have urged the government to take immediate action or face the consequences. Following a protest opposite Kuchchuveli Divisional Secretariat by members of 28 fisheries societies on Feb 12, the Secretariat has assured them that the issue would be settled within 2 weeks.


SLMC leader and Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage Minister Rauff Hakeem has intervened on behalf of the protesting fishermen. Having met the affected fishermen at Jaya Nagar Masdul Rabbani mosque, Minister Hakeem requested Fisheries Ministry to settle the issue.


A spokesperson for Minister Hakeem said that the SLMC leader had telephoned Nimal Hettiarachchi, Secretary to Fisheries Minister Joseph Michael Perera to stress the need to resolve the issue within two weeks.


Fishermen told Minister Hakeem that migrating fishermen had deprived those struggling to make ends meet by catching fish in eastern waters.  Alleging that some of the migrating fishermen were also involved in narcotics trade, fishermen urged Minister Hakeem to intervene on their behalf.


Minister Hakeem called a meeting at Jaya Nagar Masdul Rabbani mosque when he was informed of fishermen launching a protest campaign. The minister was on a visit to Batticaloa, Kinniya and Muttur to discuss ways and means of providing drinking water to people.


Minister Hakeem has assured protesting fishermen that he would discuss the issue with Fisheries Minister Joseph Michael Perera.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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