PROTEST BY FISHERMEN OVER FUEL PRICE HIKE
" WE WILL STAND BY THE FISHERMEN "
Bishop Valence Mendis tells the fishermen
[ Fr. Sunil De Silva - 17.02.2012 ]
His Lordship Bishop Valence Mendis, Bishop of Chilaw, addressing the fishermen, said, " We will stand by the fishermen and request the government to consider plight of the fishermen and other people as fisher folk who agitated against the fuel price hike on the basis that it wreaked their livelihood "
Over 5,000 people participated Wednesday in a protest held at Thalavi area in Chilaw despite the government's assurance that it will provide a fuel subsidy to the fishermen.
One fisherman was killed and eight others were critically injured when the police opened fire to disperse the protesters. Three of the injured are in critical condition, hospital sources say.
Police first fired tear gas in a bid to stop the protestors from blocking the Colombo-Puttalam main road and when that failed they opened fire resulting in the death of a youth who got shot in the head.
" GRANT A CONCESSION TO THE FISHERMEN " CARDINAL MALCOLM TELLS THE GOVT.
His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo appealed to the government to grant concession in fuel price to the fishermen.His Lordship said " though the authhorities has assured that a subsidy will be given for the fishermen in Puttalam Disrtrict, that also will be for one month. "
Rev. Fathers in the Negombo Region gathered at Sea Street Church, Negombo, on 13th Feb. 2012 to discuss with the fishermen and the government representatives as to how the government could respond to the appeal of His Eminence. As there was no postive response from the government, fishermen gathered at various junctions in Negombo to protest against the fuel price hike. Rev. Fathers continued to remain with the fishermen, trying to hear a solution even from the government Ministers who came for the meeting.
His Lordship Bishop Valence Mendis paid his last respects to Anthony Fernando Warnakulasuriya who was killed in the shooting incident on Wednesday, 15th February, during a demonstration against the increased fuel prices.The fish market in Chilaw remained closed on Friday for the fifth consecutive day.
The funeral of the fisherman, Anthony Fernando, is due to be held on Saturday, 18th February 2012.