Tamil Nadu has no right to demand Katchatheevu, for it is Sri Lanka’s as per an agreement, Sri Lanka’s Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development Minister Douglas Devananda has said.

His statement comes in response to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s recent demand that the Centre retrieve the island ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974.

Last week, the State Assembly passed a resolution in this regard, in the wake of “continued violent attacks, torture and arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.”

Observing that it was a politically motivated demand, Mr. Devananda said as per the maritime boundary agreements between the two nations, signed in 1974 and 1976, the island now belonged to Sri Lanka. “This is a livelihood issue of fishermen of both Sri Lanka and India. I request the Chief Minister to look at the issue from that perspective, instead of looking at it politically,” he told The Hindu on Friday.