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* DMK leader also wants Sri Lanka's disputed Kachchativu Island back
Sat, May 11, 2013, 11:57 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 11, Colombo: A week after his rival, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, passed a resolution demanding the Central government to take Sri Lanka's Kachchativu Island back, DMK leader M Karunanidhi has followed suit by moving India's apex court.

Karunanidhi has filed a public interest litigation petition at India's Supreme Court seeking a writ of declaration to declare the agreement between India and Sri Lanka on ceding the island to Sri Lanka unconstitutional.

The petition requests the apex court to declare the two agreements dated June 26 and 28, 1974 and March 23, 1976 ceding the island unconstitutional and non est in law, according to an Express News Service report.

It seeks Supreme Court directive to the Cabinet Secretary to retrieve Kachchativu Island as part of TN and an integral part of India.

Under the treaty agreement of 1974, Indian fishermen have lost the rights to fishing around the island as it is within the territorial waters of Sri Lanka and the 1976 agreement has established the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), which the fishermen in the two countries are not allowed to cross into each other's territory.

Karunanidhi's petition also seeks a directive to the respondents to protect the historic fishing rights and other traditional rights of TN fishermen in the waters of Palk strait and Palk Bay and the waters around the Island of Kachchativu.

He also sought a direction to the Cabinet Secretary to pay compensation for the loss of life and property suffered by the Indian fishermen due to the alleged attacks by Sri Lankans.

Karunanidhi's petition comes nearly a week after the Tamil Nadu assembly unanimously passed a resolution demanding the Central Government to retrieve the Katchatheevu Island citing continued attacks, and arrests of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had stressed that the retrieval of the island was the only way to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen.

Jayalalithaa has berated the DMK leader for not taking any action to take the island back from Sri Lanka although his party has been part of the Central governments for nearly 16 years.

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