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java program cannot access my external hd on osx catalina

I am using java software SeqMonk developed by a university in england.   I have data on an external drive I want to access.  However, when I go to that drive off of /Volumes/Seagat8TB  (my external partition)  I see no files.   I have attempted to remedy this by going into preferences, security, privacy and adding the program to allow to use FULL DISK ACCESS.  But it does not seem to do anything.   I also looked for problems running a java monitor tool while trying to access the external drive.   I do not see anything indicating a problem.  It is like a lack permision somehow to read the external hard drive with the program.  I can see the harddrive with disk utilities and go to the data using cd /.   I contacted the software vendor and they have no idea what is causing the problem other than possibly something to do with gatekeeper and the latest mac os.