Free fishing in Jaffna
Facilities, funds to be provided through Uthuru
Limit on outboard engines relaxed :
All restrictions on fishing imposed on Jaffna fishermen will be
lifted from today on the specific directions of President Mahinda
Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP officially announced
this in Karainagar, Jaffna yesterday.
Basil Rajapaksa, mp
Accordingly, Jaffna fishermen will be able to engage in fishing in
the sea around the peninsula round the clock without any hindrance. They
will also be able to send their harvest to the markets in Colombo
through the A9 road which is now open, Rajapaksa MP said addressing
fishermen in the peninsula at the Karainagar Thyagarajah Maha Vidyalaya
The meting was held to ascertain problems of Jaffna fishermen and
find quick solutions to them under the Uthuru Vasanthaya program.
Rajapaksa MP said fishermen in the peninsula were earlier allowed
fishing during four days per week upto a distance of two kilometres from
“But from today they can engage in their vocation by venturing in to
the deep seas round the clock all seven days of the week.”
He said the limit on outboard engines had also been relaxed and
fishermen could now use outboard engines upto a 15 horse power capacity.
The Fisheries Ministry would facilitate Jaffna fishermen by building
rest rooms and other facilities and funds needed would be provided
through the Uthuru Vasanthaya program.
Fishermen’s Co-operatives would be provided with credit facilities to
build the required cold rooms.
Until then two containers with cold room facilities have been
stationed in the Jaffna peninsula, Rajapaksa said.
He added that Rs. 303 million would be allocated for the provisions
of fishing gear to Jaffna fishermen.
Out of this Rs. 225 million would be allocated from ‘Gama Neguma’ and
the balance Rs. 78 million would come from the fisheries Ministry funds.
Rajapaksa said registered lorries would be deployed to transport the
fish harvest to Colombo in sealed containers.
The sealing would be done at various off loading places along the
coast. The use of ‘Theppam’ would not be allowed at present until a
radar system is mistalled too monitor them. Fishing would also be
allowed within the Kankasenturai post outside its restricted zone.
Apart from this a new ferry would be provided at a cost of Rs. 150
million to facilitate traced to and from Delft Island.
The transport ban from Delft to Jaffna would also be lifted, he said.
Rajapaksa added that electricity, telecommunication and other
infrastructure facilities would also be provided to Mandativu island.
Displaced Jaffna residents now living in IDP camps would also be
re-settled soon. Resettlement would also be undertaken in Kayts once it
is cleared of landmines fishing has been a major form of livelihood
among Jaffna people from the past. Nearly 18,000 people in Jaffna
engaged in fishing as a livelihood.
The assistance rendered by them in eliminating terrorism despite
their loss of livelihood was greatly appreciated by the President and
the Government. It was their duty not to allow terrorism to raise its
head once again in their midst.
He also noted that Jaffna produced 48,000 metric tons of fish in 1983
but the harvest dropped to 2800 mt in 2008 as a result of terrorism.
Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda,
Fisheries Deputy Minister Felix Perera, Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa,
Navy Commander Admiral Wasnatha Karannagoda, Northern Naval Commander
Rear Admiral Somatillake Dissanayke, Jaffna Commander Maj. Gen. Mendaka
Samarasinghe and Jaffna GA K. Ganesh were also present on the occasion.