fifty years ago February 28, 1969 Archives

From the Archives (Feb. 28, 1969): India not for arbitration on Kachchativu island

The Minister for External Affairs, Mr. Dinesh Singh, today [February 27, New Delhi] ruled out in the Lok Sabha India agreeing, now or in future, to international arbitration for settling the dispute on Kachchativu island with Ceylon. Mr. Dinesh Singh was replying to a calling attention notice tabled by Mr. George Fernandes and four others on reports in newspapers that India had agreed to refer for arbitration the dispute on Kachchativu. India, Mr. Dinesh Singh said, had not had any doubt about (its ownership of) the Island. If there were any doubt on that score, India would not have talked with Ceylon. Raising the issue, Mr. Fernandes asked whether Ceylon had demanded that the matter be settled through arbitration, that the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar be partitioned in such a manner that Kachchativu should go to Ceylon and whether Government was clear in its mind that the island was Indian territory.

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