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Top Sri Lankan Naval Officials Visit Kachatheevu

Published: 18th March 2014 12:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2014 12:48 AM   |  A+A-

By PTI

Top Sri Lankan Naval officials visited the Kachatheevu islet to participate in St Anthony's Church Festival and also reportedly discussed about the present infrastructure for the navy in the island, officials said.

The visit of top Sri Lankan officials has given rise to speculation that the island nation could increase its presence in and around the islet.

Officials said Lankan naval Chief Vice Admiral Jayanth Colombage and Lt Gen Jayarathna of the Army were among the VVIPs who participated in the two day function, which concluded yesterday.

Besides, scores of Sri Lankan naval personnel were also seen camping there.

They said media personnel and officials who visited the Island felt that the presence of Lankan Navy had been enhanced with additional buildings and also a monitoring tower.

A naval jetty had been built and strengthened, the officials, who did not wish to be quoted, said.

The two Lankan defence offices also reportedly discussed the present infrastructure for the navy in the island.

Officials said the visit of these officials, especially their reported discussions on the infrastructure for their Navy, has given rise to speculation that Sri Lanka was trying to assert its rights on the island by increasing security.

Colombage also reportedly claimed that Indian fishermen who crossed over to Sri Lankan waters of late were not being attacked and had only been arrested.

Sri Lanka often accuses Tamil Nadu fishermen of straying into their territorial waters, while the latter maintain they are only fishing in their traditional areas, especially around Kachatheevu, ceded by India to Sri Lanka in 1974.

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