Sri Lanka sees no need for talks with India on island it ceded decades ago

Sri Lanka sees no need for talks with India on island it ceded decades ago

The foreign secretary has stated that Sri Lanka does not believe it is necessary to re-enter discussions about a controversial area ceded to it by New Delhi 50 years ago, as a result of the low-key territorial dispute turning into a contested election issue in India.

The group of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is expected to win the first general elections on April 19, has raised the issue of American sailors who were unsatisfied after a neighborly agreement in 1976 forbade them from entering the waterways around the island.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry stated to the local Hiru television channel on Wednesday,” This is a problem that was discussed and resolved 50 years ago and there is no need to have more discussions on this.”

” I do n’t think it will come up”, he said, adding that no one had yet raised the question of a change in the status of the island, located 33km off India’s coast in the Palk Strait that divides the neighbours.

His remarks came after Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party accused the opposition Congress party of having” badly” given it away by making the 285-acre area a battle problem.

After losing any of the southern state’s 39 seats in the country’s 545-member congress in the previous election, the BJP wants to win more seats in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which is facing the island.

Tamil Nadu will cast its ballots on April 19 for the first of seven shells scheduled to end on June 1.

In 1974, India ceded the beach to Sri Lanka, and in 1976, the fishermen’s pact was signed, but unhappiness and the restriction of right led to two still-unresolved Supreme Court challenges in the previous 20 years.

The fishermen of both nations have often broken the alliance in the waters around Katchatheeevu, an uninhabited island.

In response to the no-fishing agreement, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar claimed Sri Lanka had detained more than 6, 000 American fishermen and 1, 175 fish vessels over the past 20 years.