Chennai: Condemning the latest attack on
Indian fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Naval personnel, CPI
leader D Raja on Sunday said India should reopen the 1974
agreement ceding Katchatheevu to the island nation to find a
lasting solution to the recurring mid-sea incidents.
The attack on more than 600 boats carrying fishermen from
Rameswaram allegedly by Sri Lankan Navalmen `is completely in
violation of all international conventions,` Raja said
referring to the stoning of the boats in the Palk Strait off
Tamil Nadu coast today.
Noting that Sri Lankan security personnel were attacking
the fishermen regularly, he said the latest attack came close
on the heels of the visit of External Affairs Minister SM
Krishna to the island nation.
"It is an irony that the attack has taken place immediately
in the aftermath of Krishna`s visit to Sri Lanka," Raja said.
Krishna, who was on a four-day visit to Sri lanka last
week, had raised the fishermen attack issue while the Joint
Working Group of India and Sri Lanka, which met ahead of his
trip, too discussed it.
Referring to the Katchatheevu agreement, the CPI leader
said it should not be treated as a closed chapter and reopened
in order to find a lasting solution to the problem of attacks
faced by the fishermen and safeguard their traditional fishing
rights in the region.
Slamming the Central Government, Raja said its response to
the attacks continued to be `callous`. "The Centre is not
taking the issue seriously and is only paying lip-service," he
Fisheries officials in Rameswaram said nine fishermen were
missing and more than 200 boats damaged in the alleged attack
by Sri Lankan Naval personnel at International Maritime
Boundary Line in Palk Straits.