Sri Lanka navy bans night fishing, searches for sunken gunboat

Sri Lanka’s navy banned night fishing on Sunday near a northeastern port, while it searched for the bodies of 15 crewmen killed when their gunboat was destroyed in a suicide bombing by suspected Tiger rebels. Sri Lanka’s navy banned night fishing on Sunday near a northeastern port, while it searched for the bodies of 15 crewmen killed when their gunboat was destroyed in a suicide bombing by suspected Tiger rebels. Fishing just outside the port of Trincomalee was limited to daytime, officials announced to the local fishing communities after Saturday’s pre-dawn attack carried by an explosives-laden boat within a fishing flotilla.

There was no immediate reaction from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to the military’s allegations, but the guerrillas accused the navy of preventing Tamil fishermen from earning a living by banning fishing.

“The Sri Lankan Navy has banned fishing for Tamil fisherman in most sections of the north seas of the Jaffna peninsula,” the LTTE said in a statement posted on its peace secretariat website.

The Tigers said nearly 1,000 families had been affected but the navy said the restriction applied to night fishing only.

Navy officials quoted two