More than 175 fisher families in a village in Mullaitivu have been affected after a landowner fenced off his beachfront land across a footpath that had been used for more than 50 years.

The Diyonagar fishing hamlet at Muhudubada Pattu was set up in 1973 with the mediation of the then Jaffna bishop Jacob Bastiampillai.

The last 200 metres of the path lied across a land previously owned by the bishop’s house.

The 52-acre land was sold around six years ago to Avalon Resort and Spa (Pvt.) Ltd., owned by a Canadian citizen.

Since then, the fishermen had been blocked from using the path and just three days ago, they found a fence erected and granites piled up across it.


Dismantling the obstructions, they staged a protest there on the same night.

On the following day, the divisional secretary sent an official and Grama Niladhari, who promised a speedy solution to the matter.
They issued permission for the fishermen to continue using the foothpath until a permanent solution is given.

The landowner has also sent notice via a lawyer to the fishermen to immediately remove 21 fishing boats that are anchored in the adjacent beachline.

Former northern councillor Thuraisara Raviharan said they would intensify the struggle if no speedy solution is given.



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