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Sri Lanka says to block attempt by Indian groups to visit disputed island

(Xinhua)

18:16, August 14, 2011

COLOMBO, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan navy says it will block any attempt by Indian demonstrators to reach a disputed island by boat and plant the Indian national flag.

Local media reports said Sunday that the Indian opposition and supporters of some Indian groups are planning to reach the Kachchativu island and demand that it be handed over to India.

The Kachchativu island is situated off northern Sri Lanka and is under Sri Lankan control. The island earlier belonged to India but it was handed over to Sri Lanka in 1974.

Political groups and fishermen in southern India have been agitating for several years over the move to cede Kachchativu to Sri Lanka as the sea around the island is known to be a rich fishing locality.

A Sri Lankan newspaper The Sunday Leader quoted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition political party in India, as saying it is making preparations to go by force to Kachchativu.

"We will attempt to go and raise the Indian flag on the island. We have not set a date for that attempt as yet but several other groups in Tamil Nadu are expected to make a similar attempt on Monday," President of southern India's Tamil Nadu BJP headquarters, Ila Gansesan told the newspaper.

However, the Sri Lankan navy warned it will take measures to prevent anyone from entering Sri Lanka's territorial waters illegally.

"We take the responsibility of Sri Lanka's territorial waters. If anyone attempts to cross the maritime boundary we will block them," Sri Lanka's navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya told Xinhua.

In June this year the Tamil Nadu government led by its Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa filed a petition to the Indian Supreme Court seeking the declaration of the 1974 agreement between India and Sri Lanka on ceding Kachchativu to the latter as unconstitutional.

The Indian central government however maintains the island cannot be taken back and the Sri Lankan government has also insisted the disputed island cannot be returned.

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Leave your comment7 comments

  1. Name

No-to-LTTE-Terrorism at 2011-08-1699.244.223.*
SLN, shoot the LTTE terrorists-undercovers who will try to invade SL soverign-territory. These are all to do with LTTE machinations entrenched and sadly embedded in TamilNadu. SLN do you job - as you did so magnificiently to protect MotherLanka from LTTE terrorists especially from 2005 - 2009!
Ranjith at 2011-08-15112.134.97.*
So that is how Indians going to build friendly relationship with Sri Lanka.
Ron at 2011-08-15123.211.168.*
As long as the Indian Government agrees that the Island belongs to India and that respects SL"s sovereignty, there is nothing that any of those moron politicians in TN can do.
PD User at 2011-08-1592.97.21.*
Kachchativu is Sri Lankan owned islet. Except Sri Lankans, should not be there.
Ananda at 2011-08-1592.97.21.*
If anyone attempts to cross the maritime boundary of Sri Lanka should blocked. Our hero Kosala Warnakulasuriya"s decision is EXCELLENT.
  

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