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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2960

Ready to retrieve Katchativu, if all party stood united: TN CM

[caption id="attachment_718" align="alignright" width="460" caption="Katchathievu"]Katchathievu[/caption]

By Gopal Ethiraj

Chennai , 18 June ( The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M . Karunanidhi on Thursday said he is ready to pass a resolution in the State Assembly urging the Centre to retrieve Katchathivu from Sri Lanka, if all political parties stood united over the issue. The Centre "cannot remain a mute spectator" about Sri Lanka's reported plans to build a military base in Katchathivu, an islet ceded by India to the island nation, he said in the Assembly.

Two days after writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling for verifying reports about Sri Lanka's "unilateral action", Karunanidhi told the Assembly that "If such reports are true, Centre cannot remain a mute spectator to such a development."

Members belonging to various political parties brought a special call attention motion and urged the state government to take necessary steps to protect fishermen, who are continuously being harassed by the Lankan Navy. And for this they wanted the Centre to retrieve Katchathivu.

Karunanidhi said he was afraid to convene an all-party meet to discuss the issue, as some parties would refrain from participating in it.

Media reports about a light house like structure being built by the Sri Lankan government in Katchathivu island in the Palk Straits during the past few days has caused concern among the Indian maritime security agencies. Citing these reports, Karunanidhi wrote to Singh on June 16 stating they should be verified by the Government of India with its agencies.

Members in the Assembly highlighted possible restrictions that could be placed against Tamil Nadu fishermen if an army base came up in Katchathivu, ceded by India in 1974 under a bilateral agreement.

He dismissed allegations from the opposition members that the DMK government favoured the Union government when it ‘gifted’ the island to Sri Lanka. He said he never had his party supporting the decision. “We had even walked out of the Parliament over the issue,” he added.

- Asian Tribune -

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