Traditional fishworkers in Kollam, under the banner of the Kerala Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, staged a dharna in front of the Matsyafed office at Shakthikulangara here on Tuesday morning to press for their demands pertaining to the kerosene issue.
They wanted the Civil Supplies Corporation authorities to release their kerosene permits which were suspended last month.
Inaugurating the dharna, secretary of the National Fishworkers' Forum T. Peter said that keeping the permits suspended had led to a fuel crisis in the traditional fishing sector.
He alleged that the permits had been suspended on flimsy grounds.
Yet the Central and State were not taking any step to solve the issue.
He said the permit verification process by the Corporation authorities was conducted in a haphazard manner.
It was this situation which had created the crisis. Moreover, the Corporation authorities were averse to the idea of entrusting the Matsyafed with the task of allocating kerosene to the fishermen based on the permits.
He called for immediate revocation of the suspended permits.
Moreover, along with the revocation, the kerosene allocation for the month of September too should be released to permit holders, he said.
The dharna was led by federation State president P.P. John. District president S. Francis, secretary A.R. Andrews, and treasurer M. Ambrose addressed the demonstrators.
Photo by C. Suresh Kumar.
Photo and article published in The Hindu.
For six months now, around 4,000 villagers have camped out a kilometer away from Maujanagri village in India to protest the government's land acquisition which they assert is illegal. The group, which is part of the constituency of the Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), have surrounded the camp with Sarna, which in Adivasi tradition is a flag declaring that a piece of land cannot be sold or acquired.
The National Fish Workers Forum has opposed free trade agreements and foreign direct investment in retail trade and the fisheries sector.
In a resolution adopted at its annual general body meeting held here from December 7 to 9, the forum demanded that fish workers be consulted before any trade agreement involving the fisheries sector was signed.
The meeting opposed the establishment of nuclear power plants, and expressed its solidarity with the people struggling against the setting up of such plants at Kudankulam and Jaitapur. It strongly opposed the establishment of thermal power plants with captive ports on the coast and the setting up of new private ports.
The Tata Mundra project is a 4,000-megawatt coal power plant under construction in India. It is partly funded by the World Bank.
Ambitious efforts to reform the World Bank's energy lending policy — expected to be completed in mid-July — have stalled. The two main sticking points are centered on loans for coal-fired plants and the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, observers say.