Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Left Masthead
October 24, 2016
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed


Truthdig Bazaar
Ravens in the Storm

Ravens in the Storm

By Carl Oglesby

more items

Ear to the Ground
Print this item

Fishing War Heats Up Between Sri Lanka and India

Posted on Sep 5, 2012

A war over dwindling fishing resources is being fought at the bottom of the Indian subcontinent as poor and desperate Indian fishermen cross into Sri Lankan waters and run into that nation’s unsympathetic navy.

Exact figures are hard to pin down, but one report says that at least 100 Indian fishermen have been killed and 350 injured in recent years. The dispute is complicated by steadily declining fish stocks—reportedly a result of overfishing by Indian trawlers—a response to the 2004 tsunami that saw relief funds used to expand the Indian fishing fleet, and the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, which meant more Sri Lankan fishing boats in the crowded waters.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The New York Times:

Here in Vellapallam, the fishing dispute is deeply personal, since fishing is practically the only livelihood available. When the village was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, relief money was used to build concrete houses for families or to help finance new fishing boats. Nearly all of the village fishermen use small, motorized boats rather than the big trawlers docked at other nearby towns. For many years, fishermen say, they stayed close to the Indian coast, but they have gradually pushed farther out to sea as fish populations have declined.

… As they have gotten closer to Sri Lankan waters, or crossed into them, fishermen say, the Sri Lankan Navy is often waiting. One fisherman, a wiry, wet-eyed man named Pakkirisamy, pulled off his shirt to show bruises and welts on his back. He said Sri Lankan naval officers beat him last month with steel rods and heavy ropes. He said they dumped his fuel in the sea and ordered him to return to India. He rigged a sail and arrived eight hours later.

… “This is risky work,” said a fisherman named Dhanabal. “But we don’t have any other skills. We are illiterate. We are poor.”

Read more

More Below the Ad


Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

Like Truthdig on Facebook