MPs want India to reclaim Katchatheevu

Few Rajya Sabha members recently asked the Centre to renegotiate with the government of Sri Lanka to reclaim the island of Katchatheevu.

  • Buoyed by the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill to ratify the land border agreement with Bangladesh, these MPs said the government must reconsider the exchange of Katchatheevu as it was not done through a constitutional amendment and has not served India’s interest.

What is the need?

  • These MPs have said that the ceding of Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka without any constitutional amendment, has adversely affected the livelihood of fishermen of Tamil Nadu.
  • And it is also being said that the ceding of Katchatheevu is in total violation of the views given by the Supreme Court in a Presidential reference in the Berubari case.
Katchatheevu Island

Katchatheevu Island

Background:

The island of ‘Katchatheevu’ was ceded to Sri Lanka, in the year 1974. It was done in order to maintain good relationship with Sri Lanka.

It was argued that as a result of this hand over, the Tamil Indian Fishermen lost their rights which they exercised over the island and the surrounding seas for over thousand years. However, the government then had said that fishing and navigation rights were safeguarded for the future.

According to the agreement on the island, which falls in the Sri Lankan territory, Indian fishermen can rest and dry their nets during fishing in international waters.But this has often been violated by the SL Coast Guards.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki,

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