|Monday, 10 June 2002|
SLMM satisfied with lifting of fishing restrictions
by Frances Bulathsinghala
The Deputy Head of the Norwegian ceasefire monitoring mission, Hagrup Haukland said yesterday that the mission was fully satisfied in the manner in which the Government has carried out its part of the clause in the MOU with regard to fishing restrictions in the North East.
Haukland told the 'Daily News' that it was the stand of the monitoring mission that the Sri Lankan Government had the right to be cautious about some of the security sensitive areas of the seas. He said that the Government in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the LTTE in February has removed all fishing restrictions except those in sensitive security zones in the region.
However All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) MP Vinayagamoorthy interviewed by the 'Daily News' said that he was not happy with the fishing restrictions remaining in some of the locations and that he would, along with other members of the Tamil National Alliance request a meeting with the ceasefire monitors.
Meanwhile Vinayagamoorthy said that he would try to pacify the Jaffna fishermen who launched a protest outside the Jaffna Kachcheri on Friday (7) demanding that the Government give Jaffna fishermen total access to the Jaffna seas. He said that he would attempt to make an appeal to the fishermen not to continue with the protest because he was confident that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would solve the issue.
Meanwhile, informed sources from the North East of the country, reveal that the LTTE hierarchy in Jaffna has been holding informal meetings with a cross section of society from North Eastern areas about the feasibility of letting the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) take control of the interim administration.
Sources in the Jaffna region said that the LTTE political representatives had held informal meetings with those close to the LTTE in Jaffna about finding out the prudence and feasibility of the TNA taking over the interim administration of the North East instead of the LTTE. The LTTE discussions are described by those with affiliations to the party as a ground testing.
Civilian sources point out that the meetings held so far with civilian bodies in LTTE monopolized areas about the issue have revealed that a majority of the North East civilians prefer the North East Interim Administration is not averse to TNA wielding control of the Interim Administration.
However TNA members when contacted by the Daily News' said that they had not 'so far' been approached by the LTTE.
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