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A Kalapu Charika was great success

Written By Joining Hands Network on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | 10:14 PM

A Kalapu Charika has been organized by the Alliance for Protection of Negombo Lagoon today. There were more than 3000 people gathered at the "Kurulu Kele" St. Jude Thadewus's Church at Seeduwa. The people who joined the lagoon tour displayed placards and registered their protest against the proposed Sea Planes project at Negombo lagoon.

Marcus Fernando, the chairperson of Negombo Lagoon Fisher People's Union at Pitipana said, "If government says they will bring Sea Planes to Negombo lagoon at any cost, we say, we will not allow it to happen at any cost. Politicians should bring Sea Planes on the lives of 3500 lagoon fishermen of Negombo lagoon. Our Lagoon is our mother. We totally depend on the lagoon for our survival. If lagoon face any problem, we won't tolerate at all."

People were registered their anger and protest against the proposed Sea Plane site while gathering at the St. Jude Church.
Fr. Lester Nonis gave very inspiring sermon to unite in faith and work hard till the people win. Needless to say that the way we should work. People and the lagoon are in a stage of danger with destruction. So, the people should come forward. Need to protect the Mud Bay, Coconut pillar bay, Kirala Bay where the most richest prawn breeding and feeding grounds of Lagoon. I am son of a fisherman. I know the importance of Mangroves. Sea weeds, prawns and bio diversity of Negombo Lagoon. We need not to allow any one to destroy our precious resource which is the lagoon, added Fr. Nonis.

"When we meet our Fisheries Minister yesterday, Hon. Dr. Rajitha Senarathne, he said he can not do anything about the sea planes project and go to President and ask for a solution. Why do we need a fisheries minister unless he attend and solve the issues faced by fisher people.? We need to go and talk to our father and not to go to any other person to share our difficulties, fears. But, there is no power for fisheries minster too. It is the power is in the hand of few in the country. This is an issue of democracy. We need not the top to bottom development approach any more.
Subhasinie Kamalaneshan, the coordinator, Sri Vimukthi Fisher Women Organization said after the gathering at the press.

Aruna Roshantha, the president of Eksath Dheewara Sangamaya, Pitipana said "We are concerned about the life and livelihoods of the 10,000 families. More than 3500 fishers alone depend on the Lagoon. Where do we go, if some thing happen adversely to Negombo Lagoon. Who cares? What are the plans for the families who will loose their only livelihood of Lagoon Fishing? We all are concern about it. This should not to be allowed to happen added Aruna at the press briefing.

"There more than 25,000 landless people in Negombo alone. We saw News paper advertisement mentioning that there are land sales. Each purchase will exceed RS. 75,000 and the landless poor become more vulnerable with tourism. We as landless group know the consequences when the tourism come in. We are totally against this situation."
Ramesh Nilanga narrated at the protest today.

We will continue this struggle till we win. It is not only youth & adult come together to prevent them from the displacement with "Sea Grabbing". There should be women also come with children and to come forward to see the progress today. We would see how all of the others come to a work with the determination.
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