Didn't Cede Islet to Sri Lanka, says UPA Government
By Express News Service | Published: 24th January 2014 07:36 AM |
The 1974 bilateral agreement between India and Sri Lanka demarcated the boundary between the two countries from Palk Strait to Adam’s Bridge and clarified certain issues handed down unresolved and undetermined from the colonial period.
The Centre, in a counter affidavit to a PIL that came up for hearing on Thursday before the first bench of the Madras High Court, maintained that it did not - as popularly believed - cede Katchatheevu, as India’s boundary was already one mile off the West coast of the island (the boundary did not cover the area of Katchatheevu at all). “This did not involve either acquiring or ceding of territory belonging to India since the area in question had never been demarcated. Thus, the agreement did not require a Constitutional amendment to be enacted through Parliament. Similarly, the agreement of 1976 determined the Maritime Boundary of the two countries.
These agreements were placed before Parliament and came into effect following due process of ratification and exchange of instruments of ratification between two countries,” the counter affidavit read.
Meanwhile, PMK founder S Ramadoss on Thursday urged all political parties and civil society groups to exert pressure on the Centre to introduce a resolution in the March session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) against Sri Lanka, to constitute an international inquiry into war crimes and human rights violations in the end stages of the island nation’s bloody civil war.
The demand came in light of the recent ruling by the Permanent People’s Tribunal on the matter. It’s an international opinion Tribunal that is independent of state players, and is noted for its expose of war crimes by the US during the Vietnam War. Ramadoss pointed out that the Tribunal had said the US and the UK had a role to play in the genocide of Tamils in the end stages of Sri Lanka’s civil war. He also said the Tribunal had found evidence of India’s involvement, and would rule on the matter soon.
“The only way the Centre can cast off the shadow of its involvement in the genocide against Tamils would be to ensure that those responsible for war crimes and human rights violations are punished,” said Ramadoss.