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Politicians and the navy blamed for illegal fishing
 
Nearly two thousand fishermen from Kalpitiya peninsular protested today against the use of illegal methods of fishing. They say the use of Dynamite, and triple nets are destroying marine life and their livelihood in the region.

Protesting fishermen
Protesting fishermen (Photo - Prasad Purnimal)

"From what we hear, high officials of the Navy own some of the boats that use the illegal nets for many years. Politicians and the police are all corrupt. That is why it had not been stopped for over five years." one of the protesters told the BBC.

Roads closed

The protestors cordoned off roads in the area with burned tyres to disrupt the traffic. Police and the army were deployed to contain the demonstrators.

Hundreds protested
Police had to call the Army to contain the protest. (Photo - Prasad Purnimal)

Sanath Nishantha, fisheries minister of Wayamba Provincial council, gave an assurance to the protesting fishermen that he will call a meeting of the officials on Tuesday to make arrangements with the Navy and the Police to take necessary steps to stop the usage of illegal methods of fishing,

The practice had continued without the enforcement of the law, due to "certain difficulties some officials had to face", said the minister.

 
 
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