The village was badly damaged by the Indian Ocean tsunami. It is a slow process, fixing the damage on the boats. Here in Hambantota, they are lined up at a makeshift yard where houses once stood. This is a Muslim community, and for generations has relied on fishing to earn a living. But with the government banning any rebuilding close to the shore and plans to relocate the town inland, they say their way of life is under threat.
Idris Zaid watches as the men mend their boats - his has been washed away. He clutches a plastic bag. He has just bought some nylon string as tackle. He refuses to move from the shore, saying it is the only place he can rebuild his life. He says the government wants to shift Muslims. "The government should have asked the people 'where you want to go and live?'. Rather than asking, they have made up plans and are going to start building houses [inland]." The fishermen refuse to go. They are saying 'we are fishermen, we have to live by the sea'. Some fishermen are receiving help. Father Indika Anthony has been working with the relief agency Caritas to provide the community with the basics. At his church, they queue up to get what they can - a mosquito net and a couple of bed sheets are gratefully received. He accuses the government of trying to win favour with some groups by disenfranchising others.
"The fishermen refuse to go. They are saying 'we are fishermen, we have to live by the sea'.
"They also say they are Muslims and merchants and Hambantota is for the Muslims and merchants. So they won't leave the place." The plan, however, has not met with universal resistance. Sitting on a plastic chair in her tent, Fareena Mahmood prays from one of the books she recovered from her destroyed home. A table sits in the corner. It is heartbreaking for a woman who owned her own business for the past 20 years. She does not mind the plans for the new township. "I am willing to go there, as long as they give us a house to live there. We are not fishermen, we can just go there and do business," she says.
Work has begun in the area. A month ago, it was a jungle of trees. Now the bulldozers have been clearing it away for a new township 4km (2.5 miles) from the sea. The government says it is a safe distance for the future. The deputy minister of plantation and industries, Chamal Rajapakse, says it has nothing to do with politics, only people's wellbeing. "Just because we suffer from tsunami, we can't allow our children to suffer. That's why we are trying to move them to a safer place and to build houses. We have planned to give them other facilities, too."
Living conditions are basic at the moment. In some refugee camps, one tap serves the needs of some 20 families. The imperative is to rebuild, but the lack of consultation means it may only make life more difficult for those who have already lost so much. "