No tangible effort by BJP-led Centre to retrieve Katchatheevu: Stalin

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Tuesday said that despite the BJP leading a third term at the Centre, “no tangible” effort has been taken to retrieve Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India to Sri Lanka in 1974.

In a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Stalin flagged the ‘unprecedented’ increase in instances of apprehension of Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan navy in the recent weeks and called for concrete steps to find a lasting solution to uphold the traditional rights of the fishers from the state.

He pointed out that the Sri Lankan Navy had apprehended 25 fishermen along with two motorised country crafts and two unregistered fishing boats on July 1.

“In the letter dated 27.06.2024, you have mentioned that the genesis of this issue goes back to 1974 following an understanding between the then Union Government and the State Government,” he said in an apparent reference to the ceding of Katchatheevu.

“In this regard, I would like to point out that the DMK led State Government opposed the Katchatheevu agreement tooth and nail and its opposition to the same was made clear both in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and the Parliament. The fact that the State Government was not properly consulted in this regard is well known. It is the Union Government that ceded the island to Sri Lanka completely, jeopardising and depriving the rights and interests of Indian Fishermen,” he said.