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Kachativu island now belongs to Sri Lanka
New Delhi | Tuesday, Aug 31 2010 IST
 
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Kachativu Island now belongs to Sri Lanka and ''we frequently advise our fishermen that they should not enter the Sri Lankan waters,'' External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said today.

Replying to a calling attention on this issue in the Lok Sabha, Mr Krishna, however, said efforts are on between the Indian fishermen's organisations and their Sri Lankan counterparts to resolve their disputes regarding some of the facilities ''our fishermen require.'' He also said that currently Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is in Sri Lanka and she is also expected to raise this issue with the Rajapakse Government. Unhappy with the Minister's reply, members from Tamil Nadu expressed their anger and strong displeasure.

Earlier, members across party lines from the state urged the Government for scrapping of the'' illegal 1974 Kachativu Island agreement with Sri Lanka and reclaim its sovernigty over this strategically located island situated in the Palk Bay.'' Raising the matter, UPA partner and senior DMK leader T R Baalu said this agreement was signed in June 1974 and was brought before Parliament in July 1974 in the form of discussion, while as per the constitution any part of the Indian land could be handed over only after amending constitution and passing a resolution to that effect.

He said,'' since the agreement is illegal so it should be scrapped.

The agreement in no way is in the interest of our Nation and so the Government should take initiative for its restoration.'' He said it had snatched away the bread earning rights from the Tamil fishermen as they were no longer been allowed to catch fish in that region which is known as one of the best "Prawn" region in this part of the world.

Supporting Mr Baalu's arguments, Dr M Thambidurai (AIADMK) said Kachativu Island was an integral part of Tamil Nadu and while signing the agreement, the State Government was not taken into confidence. He urged the Government to scrap this agreement altogether. He further said as per reports available indicates that Chinese Navy is keen on having its presence in the Indian ocean and'' if they could set up some facility that would be a great threat to our national security so the Government should restore the pre-1974 status of this tiny Island.'' P R Natarajan (CPIM) and A Ganeshmurthy (MDMK) both associated themselves with the arguments of Mr Baalu and Mr Thambidurai and were of the view that India should scrap the 1974 treaty.

-- (UNI) -- 31PAR14.xml

 

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