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Katchatheevu Dispute

  Sep 04, 2023

Katchatheevu Dispute

Learn about the historical and ongoing Katchatheevu dispute between India and Sri Lanka. Gain insights into the political, legal, and social aspects surrounding this territorial conflict. Stay informed and understand the complex nuances of this sensitive issue.

FAQ1: What is Katchatheevu and where is it located?
Katchatheevu is a small uninhabited island situated between Neduntheevu, Sri Lanka, and Rameswaram, India.
Its historical significance is attributed to its use by both Sri Lankan Tamil and Tamil Nadu fishermen.

FAQ2: What historical conflict surrounded Katchatheevu between India and Sri Lanka?
Katchatheevu was a contested region between India and Sri Lanka until 1974.
Ownership of the island was contentious, and it was administered by both nations during British colonial rule.
In 1974, former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi acknowledged Katchatheevu as part of Sri Lanka through the "Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime Agreement."

FAQ3: What is the Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime Agreement of 1974?
The Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime Agreement aimed to resolve maritime boundaries in the Palk Strait.
It officially recognized Katchatheevu as under Sri Lankan sovereignty, leading to mutual acceptance of ownership.

FAQ4: Why was Katchatheevu's transfer legality controversial?
The transfer's legality was disputed due to non-ratification by the Indian Parliament.
Clarification: Global or bilateral treaties under our constitution do not require parliamentary ratification. The Cabinet ratifies such agreements.
Katchatheevu's absence from the First Schedule of India's Constitution implies India didn't claim legal sovereignty. Yet, it holds cultural significance for Tamil Nadu fishermen.

FAQ5: What role does Katchatheevu play in fishing activities?
Katchatheevu serves as crucial fishing grounds shared by Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen.
The Indo-Sri Lankan agreement permits Indian fishermen to fish near Katchatheevu and utilize it for net drying.
Unauthorized fishing and poaching have strained bilateral relations.

FAQ6: What is the significance of St. Anthony's Shrine on Katchatheevu?
St. Anthony's Shrine, a Catholic church, stands on the island.
Built in the early 20th century, it honors Antony of Padua, a patron saint of seafarers for Christians.
An annual festival draws pilgrims from India and Sri Lanka.

FAQ7: How did the Indian government address the Katchatheevu dispute?
The Indian government asserted no territory was relinquished, and sovereignty wasn't surrendered.
The disputed area lacked demarcation, and its status was formalized through the 1974 agreement.
Historical evidence and legal considerations influenced this resolution.