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Last updated: 07 March, 2012 - Published 13:11 GMT
 
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No fuel subsidy in Chilaw as pledged
 
An injured man being carried after police fired on prtesting fishermen (file photo)
A man was shot dead after police opened fire on protesting fishermen
Fishermen in western Sri Lankan coastal town of Chilaw say they are struggling for survival due to fuel shortage, lack of proper income and difficulty in finding alternative jobs following the recent steep increase in fuel price.

The only petrol station franchised to supply fuel or a subsidised price in Chilaw, Nimal Petrol Station, was seen closed on Wednesday, forcing fishermen to lodge complaints.

In response, the petrol station says there is a severe delay in getting due money back from local government authorities.

Journalist Prasad Purnamal Jayamanne who visited the fisher community says that only about 20-30 boats, out of about 1500 have set off for fishing on Tuesday night.

Alternative employment

However, nearly 250 fishermen who are the only ones to have received subsidy tokens so far, are also finding it difficult to buy subsidised fuel, he says.

As a result, many young fishermen are looking for alternative employment and awaiting clearance from police to apply for jobs in many other fields.

The government earlier said all fishermen agreed to abandon a "no fishing" protest after the government promised a Rs 6500 subsidy for boats run on kerosene.

Fisherfolk, farmers and many others took part in street protests after the government suddenly announced a steep increase of the price of fuel.

In Chilaw, a fisherman was shot dead after police opened fire on protesters.

 
 
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