Monday, 29 November 2010

Seaplane protest: two fisheries union leaders arrested

By Susitha R. Fernando

Two fisheries union leaders who were involved in the campaign against the dredging of the Negombo lagoon for the proposed project to operate seaplanes have been arrested by the police. They were subsequently bailed out after being produced before the Negombo Magistrate.

Aruna Nishantha, chairman of the All Ceylon Fisher Folk Trade Union, and Marcus Fernando a member of the Fisheries Union had been summoned to the Negombo Police Station for their statements to be recorded. They had later been arrested for allegedly creating public unrest and conspiring against the state.

However, they had been produced before the Negombo Magistrate and released on personal bail and ordered to appear before court on December 14.

One of the arrested persons -- the chairman of All Ceylon Fisher Folk Trade Union, Aruna Nishantha, said that two officers from the police intelligence unit had come to his house last morning and questioned him about a protest scheduled to be held later in the day. Mr. Aruna Nishantha had said that it was not a protest but only a public awareness campaign to distribute leaflets in villages around Negombo and that it had been cancelled.

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