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Tense situation in Kalpitiya as fishermen clash

Kalpitiya as fishermen clash
Protests by fisherman along the north-western stretch of the island took a turn for the worse this morning, when local fishermen in Kalpitiya clashed with fishermen they claim are using illegal methods to fish in their waters.

The fishermen from Kalpitiya say these fishermen use illegal ‘Laila’, ‘Surukku’ and bottom-trawling methods to fish, destroying the seabed, the eco-system and the Kalpitiya fisherfolks' natural resources.

On October 18, fisherfolk from Thalawila, Kalpitiya and Negombo marched into Colombo to take their concerns to the ‘highest authorities’: A letter detailing their concerns was duly handed over to the Presidential Secretariat.

The Kalpitiya fishermen continued their protest in Kalpitiya yesterday, taking over the Palaviya- Negombo Road, refusing to let vehicles pass by until the matter is resolved.

Reports from Kalpitiya says that the clash turned violent this morning, when the ‘Laila’, ‘Surukku’ and bottom trawling fishermen arrived in Kalpitiya and were set upon by the enraged Kalpitiya fishermen who say they are being deprived of their livelihood and resources.

Sources add that the Kalpitiya fishermen accuse the Navy of aiding the fishermen using illegal methods to fish in their waters.

A lorry belonging to the fishermen using illegal methods and a motorcycle was burned. Sources say ambulances were spotted leaving the scene, taking the injured to hospital.

Six have been injured, sources said.