Katchatheevu Island

  • IASbaba
  • May 28, 2022
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In News: Recently, during Prime Minister’s visit to Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has asked for retrieval of Katchatheevu Island from Sri lanka

Katchatheevu Island

  • It is an uninhabited off-shore island in the Palk Strait originally owned by a king of Ramnad (present-day Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu).
  • The island is used by fishermen to dry their nets.
  • During the British rule, it was administered jointly by India and Sri Lanka.
  • In the early 20th century, Sri Lanka claimed territorial ownership over the islet, so in 1974 India ceded the island to Sri Lanka, through a joint agreement.
  • Two years later through another accord, India further gave up its fishing rights in the region.
  • Initially the 1974 border agreement did not affect fishing on either side of the border.
  • In 1976, through an exchange of letters, both India and Sri Lanka agreed to stop fishing in each other’s waters.
  • In 1974 and 1976 treaties were signed between the two countries to demarcate the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
  • However, the agreement could not stop the fishermen from fishing in these waters, as fishermen know no boundary.
  • Despite the signing of maritime boundary agreements, fishermen communities of both the countries continued their fishing in the Palk Bay area peacefully until the Eelam war broke out in 1983.
  • Nonetheless, after the end of War in 2009, the Sri Lankan fishermen have been raising their objection to Indian fishermen fishing in their waters.
  • The small islet of Katchatheevu, hitherto used by the fishermen for sorting their catch and drying their nets, fell on the other side of the IMBL
  • Fishermen often risk their lives and cross the IMBL rather than return empty-handed, but the Sri Lankan Navy is on alert, and have either arrested or destroyed fishing nets and vessels of those who have crossed the line.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs).

Q.1) Consider the following pairs: (2018)

Regions sometimes mentioned in news – Country

  1. Catalonia         —       Spain
  2. Crimea —       Hungary
  3. Mindanao —       Philippines
  4. Oromia —       Nigeria

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 3 and 4 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 2 and 4 only

Source: The Hindu

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