How will Identity Cards Stop Sri Lankan Navy Shooting Tamil Nadu Fishermen?

Usha Ramanathan

TAMIL TRIBUNE, September 2009 (ID. 2009-09-02)
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Sri Lankan navy shooting and killing Tamilnadu fishermen is going on for a quarter of a century with no end in site. In spite of repeated requests from Tamilnadu state chief ministers, other political leaders and fishermen's associations, Indian government has done nothing effective to stop these killings. Shootings go on with impunity.

To avert attention from its failure to stop the killings, Indian government and Tamilnadu state government now and then make statements that the fishermen would be issued identification cards (ID cards) and that would end the shootings. This writer is at a loss as to how ID cards would end the shootings.

How do these shootings happen? In every single instance of killing or shooting, surviving fishermen report that Sri Lankan navy men came in boats or ships and simply shot at fishermen's boats. How does having identification cards stop such shootings? Sri Lankan navy men do not board the fishing boats and ask for identity cards and shoot and kill those who do not have cards. They shoot from their naval vessels. So what is this talk about issuing identity cards (ID cards)?

NOTE: Occasionally Sri Lankan navy arrests some Tamil Nadu fishermen and holds them. May be, in those instances the ID cards may help them get released in days instead of weeks or months. But identity cards (ID cards) are of no help in the life and death issue of the shootings of our fishermen. Indian government, if it wishes, could easily stop the shootings but it chooses not to do anything effective. I have enumerated a few options the Indian government could take in another article [1].


1. Killings of Tamil Nadu Fishermen Continue with Impunity (by Usha Ramanathan), TAMIL TRIBUNE, September 2004 (23 KB)


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