Wednesday, 13 August 2014


In 1992, an analysis of SL’s economy concluded that the most adversely affected people by the present neo liberal economic policies adopted in 1977 government, were farming, fishing and plantation communities, and women in all those sectors as well as in the FTZ . In each sector the problem faced by women were recognized as significantly different to justify individual attention.
PEFDA, the People’s Forum for Development Alternatives was formed to search collectively for viable social and economic alternatives in each sector. A commitment to collaborate among sectors is the foundation of PEFDA’s activities.

The establishment of a network of fisheries organizations in the fisheries sector lead to the formation of National Fisheries Solidarity which was evolved to the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement [NAFSO] which represents the Small scale Fisheries Sector with covering Marine, Inland and the brackish water fisher communities, women and  children.

As a result of the widening of the network among various communities irrespective of regions, religion, ethnicity and groups, the differences were emerged at SEDEC. Some alternative way of interventions through advocacy, lobby and alternative development models widened the divisions and   in June, 1997 NAFSO had to move out from its original venue and to form an independent body of fisher people's organizations. The decisive moment was the critique and alternative views proposed by NAFSO after analysing the Fisheries Act No. 02 of 1996, which was clear sign of eliminate small, vulnerable fishers from the fisheries and also steps to privatize water bodies for industrial and other aqua culture practices. In 1996, the Food and Agriculture Organization had awarded the Margarrita Lizzarraga Award to NAFSO with the appreciation of its engagement on education and mobilizations of fishers on fisheries management with educating people on Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries [CCRF]. During tsunami, NAFSO played a major role for people centred rehabilitation, resettlement and development program through People's Planning Commission.[PPC] NAFSO was one of the key organizations to mobilize civil society actors on People to People Dialogue on Peace and Sustainable Development.[PPD]
With the work carried out by NAFSO was able to form a land coalition call Praja Abhilasha in 2005 which work on land issues of the people. NAFSO directly engaged with the partner organizations of Negombo to form the Alliance for Protection of Negombo Lagoon[APNL] which lead to the victory against sea plane project of the GOSL. With the experiences of the Negombo lagoon protection, NAFSO work was further deepen with the formation of the People's Alliance for Right to Land[PARL] in 2011. All these work to strengthen the small scale food producers counted when the Why Hunger Campaign selected NAFSO to award Food Sovereignty Award 2012.

The involvement of implementation of Voluntary Guidelines on Land Fisheries and Forest is one of important activity NAFSO engage in presently.

Since 2010, NAFSO engage with wider civil society movement of World Forum of Fisher Peoples’,[WFFP],  World Forum of Fish workers and fish harvesters,[WFF], International Collective of Support of Fish workers,[ICSF] and also International Planning Committee on Food Sovereignty[IPC] for the formulation of International Guidelines of Small Scale Fisheries,[IG-SSF] which ensure the rights of the small scale fisher folk communities around the globe. The IG-SSF will be the first one of this kind of instrument which will be adopted in June 2014, by FAO, the inter governmental agency of UN.

As a major part of NAFSO, it is presently engage in to educate wider civil society and pressurize the GOSL to implement the LLRC recommendations, which are meant to facilitation instrument to establish democratic society in Sri Lanka.

A  Just and prosperous Society, where resources are distributed equally, and Peace, Justice and Human Rights Prevails for all People regardless of Race, Religion or Gender.

Establishment of Sustainable Fisheries & Food Sovereignty through formation of a Fisher People’s Social Movement in Sri Lanka.


In 1992 January, Director SEDEC [Caritas Sri Lanka] assigned to Training Unit to Organize Fishing Communities in Sri Lanka.

In October 1993, Fisheries Network [Fisheries Solidarity Committee] presented it’s first 5 year program to CIDSE-APHD-SEDEC group for organizing fishing communities.

In June 1997, Fisheries Solidarity Committee moved out from SEDEC expecting to work in a wider perspective.

NAFSO represent the PP21 Sri Lanka coalition representing the fisheries sector in Sri Lanka in 1997.
In November 1997, NAFSO was a founding member and also received the membership of World Forum of Fisher People’s [WFFP].

In March 1998, Fisheries Solidarity won Margarita Lizarraga Award of Food and Agriculture Organization.
In 1998 at Dodanduwa  at the AGM of NAFSO, the fisher leaders proposed to initiate the National Fisheries Policy through the NAFSO concerning the real needs of the fisher folks.

In 1999, NAFSO Convener participated in International Leadership Development Course (ILDC) Course in AHI, Japan and learnt Participatory Integrated Area Development Strategy which was introduced to one DS division and implemented the work as Pilot work for area development.

In 2000, NAFSO initiated to draft a sustainable fisheries policy through research, advocacy and alternative programs with the fishing communities.

In 2001, NAFSO initiated the campaign against harmful fishing and destructive fishing practices island wide. NAFSO started to publish its own newsletter name DIYAWARA.

In 2002, NAFSO initiated dialogues and built close links with fishing communities in Jaffna, Trincomalee and Mannar areas after the MOU signed between GOSL and LTTE.
NAFSO Administrative secretary represented the World Food Summit in 2001 [1996+5] and became a member of IPC South Asia. (Focal Point of the Fisher Women In South Asia).

In 2002, NAFSO become a part of the People to People Dialogue on Peace & Sustainable Development Program and the coordination was done also by NAFSO.

In 2003 NAFSO Training Pool became a permanent partner of AHI with the NAFSO administrative secretary as convener.
In 2003, NAFSO hosted the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) Coordinating Committee.

In 2004, NAFSO convener elected as the General Secretary of World Forum of Fisher Peoples.
In 26, December 2004 Asian Tsunami hit Sri Lanka and 14 other Asian countries in the Indian Ocean, which we lost around 42,000 precious lives of Sri Lankan citizens alone. Biggest damage reported at East Timor than Sri Lanka.
As a result, in 2005 NAFSO launched massive tsunami rehabilitation, resettlement, reconstruction and reconciliation process under NAFSO post tsunami development program supported by various donors.
In 2005, NAFSO launched the People’s Caravan with the Asian People’s Movements towards the WTO and the impact over small food producers.
In 2005, NAFSO became a part of the Praja Abilasha Network of Land Issue and serves as the coordinating secretariat to the network.
 In 2005 NAFSO start independent web site call [ ]

In 2006, NAFSO undertook the coordination of the Praja Abilasha Network.

In 2007 NAFSO became a Partner of APWLD Net work as administrative secretary elect as a Task force member of RIW.
In 2007, NAFSO hosted the WFFP General Body Meeting in Sri Lanka and Convener of NAFSO was re- elected as the General Secretary of WFFP.

In 2008, 10 NAFSO members were represented the 4 SSF conference which was held at Bangkok, Thailand and was organized by Food and Agriculture Organization.
NAFSO start new monthly paper call SINDUSARA.

In 2009, NAFSO conducted an Inland Fisheries Research and submitted to the fishing communities at the World Fisheries Day Celebrations.
In 2009, NAFSO Administrative Secretary was elected as a BOOM member and focal point of South Asia.
In 2009, Supreme Court of SL gave an historic order to enforce the law against the illegal fishing in the country.
In 2009, Kappaladiya fisheries society in Puttalam district, NAFSO members won the case and retained the traditional customary rights after struggling against hotelier through Supreme Court order.

In 2010 NAFSO hosted and organized APWLD regional WS regarding the Violation against Poor Marginalized women and the Migrant women.

In 2010 NAFSO involve the struggle to protect Negombo lagoon with 3000 of fisher folks and the organizations. NAFSO convener and the Sri Vimukthi Fisher Women Organization Coordinator served as the conveners of the alliance. The Sea plane project stopped and save the fisher folks livelihood.

In  2011, NAFSO engaged in land issues and formed wider network of National Alliance of Right to Land and play coordination role in it.
In October 2011 NAFSO play supportive role in the struggle of weeklong hunger strike of 4 Buddhist monks and a mother of crew members demanding to bring the fishers back home after 20 months of detention.
In November 2011, NAFSO engaged in drafting the SL fisher people's contribution to the International Guidelines on Small Scale Fisheries [IG-SSF] which was initiated by Food and Agriculture Organization.

In January 2012, NAFSO convened a wider people's gathering on Land issue through Permanent People's Tribunal.
In February 2012, the Convener of NAFSO faced death threats and attempts to abduct him at the international air port in Colombo,
In March 2012, NAFSO staff, field activists faced serious threats, and the Praja Abilasha coordinator was taken to the in-popular 4th Floor of the Criminal Investigation Department.[CID]
In July 2012, NAFSO N/E program on Active Citizenship on Development Network convened the regional consultation on N/E rehabilitation, resettlement and development program.
In July, 2012, NAFSO published an anthropological research among IDPs and WHF and submitted to various groups including EU delegates, diplomatic missions etc.
In August 2012, NAFSO received a Security Training program for the Staff due to the serious threats, intimidations, surveillance, media smear campaigns.
In 10th October 2012, NAFSO has been awarded the Food Sovereignty award by Why Hunger Program in New York, USA.
In October 2012, NAFSO conduct Food Sovereignty campaign with the mobilization of various communities, regional, national, and international levels with the theme of Food Sovereignty Now: Assert the People's Right to Land, Water and Seeds.
During April- October 2012, NAFSO joined hands with the wider CSO representation in SL to focus and raise awareness, mobilize communities to the Universal Periodic Review [UPR] process on SL.
In 2012, NAFSO was able to raise the issues of the IDPs in the N/E and bring attention from national and International levels on Mullikulam IDP issues.
In December 2012, NAFSO launched a survey among WHF in Trincomalee district and published the report and used it as an advocacy tool to highlight the issues of the basic rights of WHF.

In 2013 February, a protest organized at Thelipillai just before the March sessions at HRC, the IDP issues brought in to national and international scenario. This was done amidst spread lies internationally by the GOSL, “There is no Single IDP in the country since 26th September 2012”.
In 2013 March the CRiDF project was began and made stimulation and a catalytic role to our work. It gave lot of strength to our women who are helpless and economically down after the lost of breadwinner during the civil war
In April, 2013 NAFSO published a research report on Land Grabbing in Kalpitiya Islands for tourism industry. This report was used as an advocacy tool against the land grabbing in coastal areas.
In May, 2013 technical consultation on International Guidelines on Small Scale Fisheries [IG-SSF] was conducted and NAFSO also actively participated. NAFSO members were educated on the content of the IG-SSF. 
In August, 2013 NAFSO hosted the Civil Society Mechanism of Committee on Food Security in South Asian region and also the IPC-Asia meeting in Negombo.
In August, 2013 NAFSO handed over petition to Ms. Navy Pillai, the high commissioner on HRC, on  war IDPs and Land Grabbing and Indian Trawlers invasion in to SL EEZ.
In September, 2013, NAFSO conducted South Asian Regional Consultation on Voluntary Guidelines on Land, Forest and Fisheries[VGGT], which was aimed at the to prepare a Popular Manual on VGGT, in collaboration with WFFP and FIAN.
In October, NAFSO launched the report of “Asian Land Research” – Land Grabbing in 5 Asian countries including Sri Lanka. NAFSO engaged into research work on land grabbing in Kalpitiya islands.
In November 2013, NAFSO was engaged in organizing Human Rights Festival which was organized by People’s Commission on Human Rights [PCHR]. This was parallel to the CHOGM, the commonwealth head of government meeting held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
On 21st November, 2013, NAFSO published the compilation of the experiences of people on the Sea Plane Struggle at Negombo lagoon. 
In December 2013, four of NAFSO our activists received threats to their lives from unknown people as they engaged in the Human Rights activities among the communities. All these have been reported to the Special Rapporteur of human rights defenders of the UN HRC.