India says Katchatheevu belongs to Sri Lanka

Kachchatheevu_2    The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has opposed the DMK’s attempt to force a discussion on the sensitive issue of India’s agreement with Sri Lanka on the Katchatheevu island.India had recognised the territorial rights of Sri Lanka over the island in 1974, which was a disputed land until then, the Economic Times in India reported today.
In a letter to the office of the Lok Sabha Speaker, MEA said the matter DMK sought to raise in the House, “is already settled between the two countries. Discussions of these matters on the floor of the House would not be desirable as this may prove embarrassing for our relations with Sri Lanka, a close and friendly neighboring country”.The MEA move came after DMK gave notice to the office of the Speaker on the eve of the monsoon session of Parliament, seeking a short-duration discussion under Rule 193.The DMK quit the UPA coalition earlier this year protesting India’s refusal to take up alleged human rights violations against ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka at the hands of the Sri Lankan army.

As the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils has recently rocked Tamil Nadu politics, the issue of access to Katchatheevu and the legality of the 1974 agreement between India and Sri Lanka has once again come to the fore.

In his notice, DMK member TKS Elangovan said his party wanted a discussion on the need “to urge the Government of India to reject and scrap the Katchatheevu agreement which is against the constitutional mandate and not concurred by Parliament and the Government of India”. DMK’s main rival, Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, has filed a writ in the Supreme Court demanding the same.

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