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No Sinhala settlements in Musalai: Amaraweera

The Mannar United Fishermens Association refrained from going out to sea and held a protest in Mannar town on Wednesday against the establishment of a Sinhalese fisher village in Musali, Mannar.

Plans have been afoot to locate 180 Sinhalese fisher families in the area of Musali to create a Sinhalese fisher village and the officials were scheduled to survey the land on Wednesday.

The leaders of the Mannar fishermens Association stated that they had never had Sinhalese villages situated in Mannar. They also pointed out that it was unfair to spend so much money to bring in new Sinhalese fishermen into the area when the government has failed to provide assistance to the existing fishermen who have suffered several setbacks over the years due to the war.

The protest led to officials abandoning their surveying of the land. When Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Mahinda Amaraweera was contacted with regard to the issue, he said the Ministry was unaware of any plan to settle Sinhalese fishermen in the area.

He added that the fishermen had not informed him of such a move and that he had no interest in creating further tension among the people by propagating such a project.