THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Latin Catholic (LC) Church came out with sharp criticism of the now-cancelled deal between the state-owned Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) with the US-based EMCC International for deep-sea fishing, saying it could affect the livelihood of fishermen in the state.
Fr Eugin Perera, former vicar general, Latin Catholic Church, said that the government’s cancellation of an agreement on the deal was to create a “smokescreen”. “Cancelling one agreement is to fool people. We want all the agreements to be cancelled. The government’s action has proved that the chief minister and the fisheries minister had told lies. Hence, the government should cancel all the agreements with the American firm and protect the interests of fishermen,” he said.
He said the government had only partially withdrawn the agreements. “The deal was made as a result of corporate interest. If we look thoroughly into its clauses, we can see that there is nothing to protect the interests of fishermen. Also, the American company has no previous experience in making fishing boat and ships for the purpose.
At least, the state government should have called for a discussion with the stakeholders concerned and taken them into confidence before signing the agreement,” Perera told TNIE. The LC Church will also support the statewide coastal hartal on Saturday called by the Kerala co-ordination committee for the welfare of fishermen in the state.