By Maryam Azwer
Two activists protesting against the Negombo Lagoon sea plane project were arrested by the Negombo Police and the CID this afternoon, and later released on bail, said convener of the Alliance for the Protection of the Negombo Lagoon, Herman Kumara.
Chairperson of the All Ceylon Fisher folk Union Aruna Roshantha and Marcus Fernando of the Negombo Lagoon Fisheries Association were arrested on grounds of anti-government behaviour, and of turning people against the government, said Kumara.
The accusations followed a leaflet distributing campaign in Negombo yesterday (27).
“Yesterday we had a leaflet distributing campaign in Negombo, on the sea plane issue. Around a hundred people attended the campaign,” said Kumara.
He explained that the activist Fernando’s name was printed on the leaflet, and the address provided belonged to the trade union Roshantha represented, leading to the two of them being called in by the police today, to present a statement on the issue.
The activists were then arrested around 2 p.m. and released on bail at around 6 p.m., said Kumara.
“Distribution of leaflets is a right of our people, we did it to educate people,” he added.
The Alliance for the Protection of the Negombo Lagoon was formed around one month ago, in the light of the SriLankan Air Taxi project that many fisher folk feel would be a threat to their livelihood.
Following protests by members of the Alliance and several others on November 17, the project was temporarily suspended, until further discussions were carried out.