Katchatheevu not open for talks

The government today said that it would not hold any discussions with India over an issue to renegotiate the Katchatheevu island which is located in the Palk Strait after a recent proposal by Tamil Nadu urging the Indian government to re-discuss with its neighbours.The island which is known for its strategic importance and special significance for fishing operations in the area was ceded by India to Sri Lankan in 1974. “Katchatheevu is an integral part of our country and we are not open for discussions on this matter. I am sure even the Indian central government will not consider raising this issue,” Senaratne said.In June 2011, the Tamil Nadu government led by former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the declaration of the 1974 and 1976 agreements between India and Sri Lanka on ceding of Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka as unconstitutional. However the Tamil Nadu Parliamentarians on Thursday said the Indian government must reconsider the exchange of Katchatheevu as it was not done through a constitutional amendment and has not served India’s interest. Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne however said that the government would not hold discussions with India on the matter as the island belonged to Sri Lanka. In 2014, M. Karunanindhi, Tamil Nadu politician and past Chief Minister, filed a writ petition seeking, retrieval of the island from Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) read more