Fishermen in dire straits with no fuel – Sivajilingam

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By Eunice Ruth

Though the fishing community has been promised that they will be provided with necessary fuel to carry out fishing activities, it has not been provided till today and no steps have been taken to provide them, said the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) General Secretary, former Parliamentarian and Northern Provincial Council member, M. K. Sivajilingam.

 Addressing a media briefing held yesterday (19) in Jaffna, he said earlier, the fishing community used petrol and diesel for their boats and other fishing equipment. However, now they are forced to use kerosene and only a few can be operated with kerosene whereas others don’t work with kerosene, he added.    

The fishermen and their families are standing in queues to buy petrol or kerosene and it has affected their day-to-day income severely. They are leading difficult lives with no income and no way to earn an income. Meanwhile, commenting on the recent change of Cabinet Ministers, he said they have no idea why the President did it and he pointed out that changing them will not address any demands of the public nor will it resolve the economic situation of the country. 

 Sivajilingam further urged the Central Government of India to take necessary decisions to support the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. Currently, everyone in the country is affected due to the economic crisis, especially the Tamil Community in the North and the Upcountry people. They are suffering without proper food to eat, he added. By considering the current situation of Sri Lanka, the Indian Government has approached to help the country and the people, by providing essential goods. However, several Tamil representatives have refused the help of India, he alleged.  

 “The price of fuel and vegetables are increasing day-by-day and people are struggling to lead their daily lives. I have informed the Indian Government about the current situation of the Tamil people in the country and urged the Indian Government to help us. Meanwhile, Chief Minister M. K. Stalin said that they have requested the Central Government of India to grant permission to help the Tamil community in Sri Lanka by providing food items, medicines, and other essential commodities. This assistance from India will help all the Tamil community in the country including the upcountry people vastly by fulfilling their daily needs,” said Sivajilingam.