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Jaya asks Modi to dump Indo-Lankan pacts
By Nirmala Joseph October 04, 2015
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CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that India nullify the “unconstitutional” Indo-Sri Lankan Agreements of 1974 and 1976.

The demand was prompted by recent arrest of seven fishermen from Nagapatttinam by the Sri Lankan navy.

The arrested fishermen are in custody at Kankesanthurai, Sri Lanka.

Jayalalithaa said the belligerent act of the Lankan navy adds to the immense frustration among the fishermen community of Tamil Nadu.

“These repeated apprehensions of our innocent fishermen are done with a motive to intimidate and prevent our fishermen from venturing into their traditional fishing waters in the Palk Bay, which has always been a traditional fishing area,” she said.

She reiterated that the government of India should not treat the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) with Sri Lanka as a settled question as the constitutionality of the 1974 and 1976 agreements have been challenged on legal grounds in the Supreme Court of India.

She again called for the retrieval of Katchatheevu, which was ceded to Lanka by the agreements.

Jayalalithaa urged immediate action through diplomatic channels to secure the release of the seven Indian fishermen, besides 28 other fishermen and 31 fishing boats, which are still in Sri Lankan custody.

On Friday Jayalalithaa as well as opposition DMK chief M. Karunanidhi had come out strongly against a UN resolution that endorsed a domestic probe in Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes against the Tamil population.

Jayalalithaa expressed deep disappointment and anguish, while Karunanidhi termed it shocking.

The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday adopted a resolution paving the way for a probe involving foreign judges and prosecutors, but Jayalalithaa pointed out that it would in no way be equal to an international judicial probe.

“This weak resolution adopted by perceiving a change of heart of the Sri Lankan government will not do any good to Sri Lankan Tamils,” she said.

Blaming the central government, Jayalalithaa said the UN resolution shows that the union government did not take any steps over the unanimous resolution adopted by the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

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