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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Session on human rights for tsunami-hit held at Tuticorin

A two-day `Human Right Defenders' (HRD) training for tsunami victims' organised by the People's Watch and Tsunami Legal Action Committee, both human right organisations, started here on Saturday.

A total of 40 persons from Vilathikulam and Ottapidaram taluks were imparted training on topics such as `Understanding human rights', `Tsunami issues from a right perspective', `Rights and challenges of coastal communities', `An introduction to coastal regulation zone', and `Effects of proposed Coastal management Zone on fishermen'.

Sources said that those who got trained at the programme would in turn educate the entire tsunami-hit fisher folks in their respective blocks, who were yet to receive the relief packages from the Government, on their rights.

Christal Babitha, a lawyer and resource person, explained the salient features of the notification on Coastal Regulation Zone, an area which extends from the high tide line upto 500 metres towards landward area.

She said the proposed amendment on the CRZ notification to form an Integrated Coastal Management Zone (ICMZ) would affect the livelihood opportunities of the fishermen community to a great extent.

"The recommendations to constitute the ICMZ had not taken the housing rights of the fishermen into consideration and hence, it should be feared that they would be uprooted from their `traditional bases' (i.e., beaches), once it was declared as a zone," she added. Thus the notification would alienate the fishermen from their sources of livelihood.

Ms. Babitha said that under the circumstances, the proposed move by the Central Government to amend the CRZ notification was unwarranted.

Source: The Hindu

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