The DMK-backed Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) will approach the Supreme Court to make invalid the 1974 agreement inked between India and Sri Lanka which seceded Kachchatheevu to the island nation.
A resolution to this effect was passed in the organisation’s meet chaired by DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Monday.
The statement detailing the resolution said that Sri Lanka had not adhered to the spirit of the agreement that recognised the rights of the fishermen from both the countries to carry on their profession in waters in the Palk Strait. Rather, it had constantly undertaken all efforts, including using force, to prevent Tamil Nadu fishermen from fishing in the waters.
Over 600 fishermen have died in such attacks.
The DMK government, which was in power in 1974 when the agreement was signed, vehemently opposed it even then.
Provisions such as the rights of the fishermen to fish in the waters around Kachchatheevu and participate in religious festivals in the islets were included following stress given by the party. But even these rights were given away in a subsequent agreement in 1976, when the Emergency was issued in India and the DMK government had been dismissed.
Stating that there cannot be borders in the sea to strip fishermen of their traditional rights, the resolution said that the Centre should come forward to cancel the agreement.
Also, the resolution said Kachchatheevu was an integral part of India. It was given away to Sri Lanka in 1974. As per Article 36 of the Constitution, such a move should be preceded by enacting a law in parliament. No such law has been passed on the Kachchatheevu issue. Therefore, TESO would approach the Supreme Court to declare the islet as part of India, the resolution said.