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DMK slams Sri Lankan govt. for denying navy’s role in attack

[Hindu, Thursday, 3 February 2011 12:02 No Comment]

The DMK on Thursday slammed the Sri Lankan government for denying its navy’s role in a recent attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen and demanded that a new accord be signed to establish Tamil Nadu’s rights once again at Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India in 1974.

A resolution to this effect was passed at the party’s General Council meeting headed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi.

“A fisherman, N. Jayakumar, was killed brutally by the Sri Lankan Navy recently. The General Council strongly condemns the Sri Lankan government for denying its navy’s role in this attack,” the council, the party’s top decision making body said.

It said efforts should be taken (by the Centre) to “establish Tamil Nadu’s rights once again in Katchatheevu”. The islet was ceded by India to Sri Lanka in 1974 by way of an accord, making it a contentious issue since then.

Tamil Nadu fishermen have frequently charged the Sri Lankan navy with attacking them and killing many while fishing near Katchatheevu area, an allegation denied by Sri Lanka.

On the vexed issue of ethnic problem in neighbouring Sri Lanka, the general council resolved that the Centre should take efforts to ensure for devolution of powers to Tamils, as that alone would ensure co-existence (of the majority Sinhala and the minority Tamil communities).

Making a pitch for the controversial multi-crore Sethusamudram canal project, which has run into rough weather following opposition from Hindu groups and litigations, the council said the Centre should take efforts to complete it.

The project was flagged off in 2005 but later found opposition following a decision to dredge Ramasethu, believed to have been constructed by Lord Rama to cross to Sri Lanka.

In another resolution, the party reiterated its demand for regional autonomy and called for suitable amendments in the Constitution for this purpose. The DMK government had first passed a resolution in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 1974 for regional autonomy.

[Full Coverage]

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