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Home » » KALAPU CHARIKA [LAGOON TOUR] WILL BE THE FIRST STEP OF FISHER PEOPLE'S TO PROTECT NEGOMBO LAGOON.

KALAPU CHARIKA [LAGOON TOUR] WILL BE THE FIRST STEP OF FISHER PEOPLE'S TO PROTECT NEGOMBO LAGOON.

Written By Joining Hands Network on Thursday, October 28, 2010 | 7:17 PM

Negombo Lagoon is providing direct livelihood for more than 5000 families of 35 villages around the lagoon. There are around another 3500 families depend on the Lagoon indirect livelihoods such as fish vendors, fish collectors, repairing centers, equipments sales centers, etc. All are small scale subsistence fishers and their only way of livelihood is fishing. If some thing adverse thing happen to the Lagoon their livelihood and the way of life will be in danger.


Annual income from the Lagoon exceeds 150 million SLR, according to the fisheries sources.


At the same time Negombo Lagoon together with Muthuraawela Marsh had declared as an important Ramsar Wetland in Asia.
Politicians are proposing Sri Lanka to be Asia's Wonders. Their main aim is to boost tourism industry while neglecting basic rights of the poor and small food producers such as small scale, artisanal fishers, small farmers etc.


Today, the government's main development plan is Mahinda Chinthanaya which is Carbon Copy of Regaining Sri Lanka, which imposed by the 2002 UNP regime.
Also, the same plan continued after 2005, under Mahinda Rajapakse regime. After 2010 victory Mahinda Rajapakse regime has accelerated the tourism master plan which has proposed 14 tourism zones in the country, mainly around the coastal areas.


Under the above program, introduction of Seaplanes to Negombo lagoon, Parakrama Samudra, Thisawewa, Victoria Lake, and Beira Lake will be done with out having any reasonable assessment of the damage. The main concern is to earn foreign currency through the tourists.


The attached documents are giving some important aspects of the Negombo Lagoon Seaplane issue while we need to study the whole plan and consequences in detail.
However, when the people started to register their protest, government has said that they will do this project at any cost.


The concerned people, organizations, progressive church leaders, trade unions are working together and seek assistance from all of the concerned citizens in the country to save the lives and livelihoods of the People, more than 10,000 families around Negombo Lagoon.
However, with the introduction of the Seaplanes to our tanks, farmers will also be in danger and agriculture will also be affected.


As one important step on agitations, fisher people have organized a Lagoon Tour [Kalapu Charika] on 31st October 2010 at 11.00 am to Seeduwa St. Jude Church aiming at show the fisher people's concern on protection of Lagoon and register the protest against introduction of SEA PLANES at Negombo Lagoon.
People will come to St.Jude Church with their lagoon canoes, small boats, Sea canoes, catamarans, from various anchorage point from 35 villages of Negombo lagoon. First all will join the holy mass at the St.Jude church which will be presided by Rev. Fr. Basil Wickramasinghe, the Parish Priest of Seeduwa Parish.
After that, there will be introductory speeches by Rev. Fr. Lester Nonis, and some fisher leaders and social activists.


People will learn what type of impact they face as consequences of the sea plane project with visiting the proposed site.


So the details are as follows;


Date and Time: 31st October 2010 at 11.00 am.


Venue: St.Jude Church, Seeduwa.


How to reach the St.Jude Church.


We invite media journalists to inform in advance[By Friday 29 October] if any one interest to join the Kalapu Charika by lagoon.
We will arrange a boat from Kotalawala Bridge to the St.Jude Church by 10.00 am at Kotalawala Bridge at Negombo.


The Telephone numbers for contacts are given below.


Unless you join the boat ride with us, we would like you to invite you to come directly to the St.Jude church.
If you come by Colombo -Negombo bus [Route Number 240], you need to get down the bus at the Bandarawatta junction at Seeduwa. Then find the St.Jude statue at the top of the road towards the lagoon side. Come along the road towards the lagoon and you will find the venue.


We, as concerned people would like to ask media and all the other trade unions, to join this event to highlight the concerns of the Negombo Lagoon Fisher communities with focusing the attention to the developments issues in and around the lagoon.




You can get more Information on this through following telephone numbers;


Organizers:


Aruna Roshantha - Eksath Dheewara Samithiya, Pitipana- 0777895109
Ramesh Nilanga - Thaladuwa Eksath Dheewara Subasadaka Sangamaya-Kadolkele- Thaladuwa, -0722116868
Niroshan Fernando- Sirikurusa Lagoon Fishermen Union, Munnakkaraya- 0712832924
Marcus Fernando- Negombo United Fisher People's Organization- Pitipana South- 0772836524
Subhashinie Kamalaneshan- Sri Vimukthi Fisher Women Organization- 0775949079
Herman Kumara, Convener, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement, Negombo- 0773184532
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