Latin Archdiocese intensifies protests, Coastal regions observe ‘black day’

Latin Archdiocese intensifies protests, Coastal regions observe ‘black day’

Thiruvananthapuram: Fishermen under the leadership of the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram are intensifying protests to resolve problems of the coastal regions by observing a ‘black day’. A ‘black flag’ was hoisted today in several churches soon after the Holy mass was celebrated in the morning.

Rev. Msgr. Eugine H. Pereira, Vicar General of Latin Archdiocese of Trivandrum is leading the protest, with fishermen at odds in the name of development.

A rally of bikes carrying ‘black flags’ from the coastal areas of Varkala to Thiruvananthapuram, ended at the entrance gates of the port.

His Excellency, Most Rev. Dr. Christudas Rajappan, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese inaugurated the day and night protest at the Mullur Port gate. His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Thomas J Netto, Archbishop of the diocese delivered the opening address.

The strike has raised seven demands, most notably, halting the construction of Vizhinjam Port until a proper study is carried out, quicker implementation of the rehabilitation processes, ensure financial assistance to fishermen in distress, and take adequate steps to prevent coastal erosion. Fishermen in Ernakulam will also stage a strike in support of the ‘Black Day’ protest.

Meanwhile, Minister Antony Raju has announced that a meeting will be held under the Chairmanship of the ministers on 22nd of this month to resolve the concerns of the fishermen. As the fishermen's concerns are well-founded, it is simply not possible for the state to take decisions unilaterally. The minister also informed that 17 acres of land has been located to ensure adequate rehabilitation.

Similar protest against the state government in the capital under the leadership of the Latin Archdiocese wherein fishermen protested carrying their boats were resisted by the police giving rise to minor unrests.

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