Two Mannar fishermen shot by SLA

Place: Mannar | Courtesy: TamilNet
| Date: 20000923

Two fishermen were shot dead by the Sri Lanka army on the coast near Mannar town Friday night around 10.30 p.m. The fishermen, K. Thangarajah, 47, and N.Satheesh, 21, were walking towards their boats on the Periyakadai beach when an SLA unit in ambush had opened fire on them, killing them on the spot. The bodies were handed over to the Mannar hospital. The Mannar district judge Saturday directed the Police to hand over the bodies of the dead fishermen to their relatives.

"We pleaded but Navy kept firing"- survivor

[TamilNet, September 24, 2000 12:53 GMT]

"We were fishing after a heavy thunder shower when about ten Sri Lanka Navy boats approached and opened fire on us. We screamed that we were fishermen and pleaded with them to stop shooting. But the Navy surrounded our boats and continued to fire on us. So we jumped in the sea to save our lives" said Punchi Singho, a Sinhala fishermen who survived the SLN attack in the Trincomalee bay Friday night. Two Sinhala fishermen who were caught in the attack are still missing, Police sources in the eastern port town said.

Four Sinhala fishermen and a Tamil fisherman who were arrested by the Navy following the attack were handed over to the harbour Police Saturday evening. Two fishing boats were completely destroyed by SLN guns.

Mr.Punchi Singho, a resident of the coastal suburb of Samudragama in Trincomalee town and his colleagues, some of whom had been treated for minor injuries, iterated that there are no SLN restrictions on fishing in that part of the bay where they were surrounded and attacked Friday night.

They said that they were shocked and saddened by a report on the radio Saturday quoting the SLN that they were "LTTE fishermen".

"The Navy in Trincomalee knows full well who we are and that we regularly fish in the waters of the bay" one of the Samudragama fishermen who survived the SLN attack Friday night said.