Strong case to retrieve Katchatheevu

Published Jul 4, 2014, 11:23 am IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 9:25 pm IST
Picture for representational purpose (Photo: DC/File)
 Picture for representational purpose (Photo: DC/File)

Chennai: The answer to Tamil Nadu fishermen’s problem could lie in the Netherlands. TNFIDET (TN fishermen development trust) believes so.

The fishermen’s collective has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa urging her to persuade the Indian government to move the international court to retrieve Katchatheevu islet, which India ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974.

TNFIDET cited the cause celebre of Palmas in which the Netherlands retrieved Palmas Island (Miangas) near the Philippines from the US through Permanent Court of Arbitration in 1928. In his memorandum submitted to the CM on Tuesday, TNFIDET founder president P. Justin Antony, said that India could annul the bilateral agreement and wrest control of Katchatheevu by citing the violations committed by the Sri Lankan navy.

 “As per UN norms, in a bilateral international agreement, a country gets the right to annul the agreement if the other country refuses to abide by the conditions of the treaty,” Justin told Deccan Chronicle.

He also drew the CM’s attention to a reported statement made by the Sri Lankan cabinet secretary Peiris that statements of Queen Victoria suggest that Katchatheevu islet was not a part of Sri Lanka and it belonged to Ramanathapuram King Sethupathy. Historical references also indicate that Katchatheevu was among the eight islands and 69 coastal hamlets the Nayakars (rulers of Madurai) had given to King Sethupathy while appointing him as the king of Ramanathapuram.

Urging the 40 MPs (including Puducherry) of TN to stand under one umbrella and fight for the retrieval of Katchatheevu, Justin exuded confidence that the CM would get GoI to reconsider its stand and move in a different direction so that the islet is retrieved by India.

Location: Tamil Nadu


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