Tamil Nadu

Renegotiate Katchatheevu pact: D. Raja

Katchatheevu, the islet ceded to Sri Lanka in the 1970s, continued to raise tempers in the Rajya Sabha, with D. Raja of the Communist Party of India even demanding that the agreement be renegotiated.

Raising the issue, Mr Raja said: “We have highlighted the plight of fishermen umpteen times but nothing has happened. The fishermen are in prison, they are attacked. Even the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has repeatedly written to the Centre.”

Mr. Raja made the demand on a day when Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. Though both leaders have met in the past, this was their first meeting after Ms. Swaraj became Foreign Minister.

Mr. Raja was supported by V. Maitreyan of the AIADMK, who expressed “shock” at the Ministry of External Affairs declaring that the issue of Katchatheevu belonging to Sri Lanka was a “settled matter.” At the same time, he appreciated the new government’s efforts at ensuring the release of 184 fishermen and sought steps to get their boats released.

Kanimozhi of the DMK sought immediate steps for the return of boats and a permanent solution to the issue. She also demanded a separate ministry be created for fisheries in view of exports amounting to Rs. 18,836 crore last year.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 10:04:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/renegotiate-katchatheevu-pact-d-raja/article6202454.ece

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