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Tamil Nadu (India) and Sri Lanka: Overfishing and Conflicts

Write your own article that summarizes the original article, includes your opinion, and relates the larger issue to what we’ve been discussing in class:

The two articles discuss the challenges that the vast majority of Tamil fishermen in the Southern Region of India have to struggle with every day to feed their families. After clashes with the Sri Lankan Navy began, the danger of fishing in Lankan water increased exponentially. The first article is a narrative of a young man that has to go out every day to prevent his family from starving or slipping further into poverty. The article outlines the danger and consequences of what Anthony and his group continue to do as a living, chained by the limited job skills they have. The article then continues to speak of the situation between the two countries, how it unfolds into conflict, and the political nightmare the fishermen find themselves trapped in. The second article shifts the attention to more recent event, namely September 4, which was a meeting scheduled for leaders from both sides to discuss the current situation and come to agreement to being back social, economic and political stability to the regions.

While there are many challenges on multi faceted levels, I believe the questions to be focused on are how to get new skills to the impoverished population, how to provide alternate job sectors, and most importantly, how to shift incentives away from fishing the depleted population without leaving the fisherman helplessly exposed. It is understandable and foreseeable for the fishermen to keep risking their lives for their families and for the navy to fight back, but in no way is this a solution or supportive environment for these growing economies. Governments around the world must be involved have to being pressuring both sides to make a change and reallocate the resources consisting their boats and fish.

Over the last few weeks we have been discussing ethics and social responsibility extensively. The ability to juggle societies ethical demands with the current material needs is an ongoing challenge and the India/Sri Lanka conflict is an example of failure to keep both elements in balance. Through these articles we can see the result if corporations or governments were to abandon their moral standards; poverty, environmental degradation and physical harm would take over in an attempt to resolve conflict without considering both sides’ needs and concerns.


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