May 042013
 

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[TOI, Saturday, 4 May 2013 07:26 No Comment]

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa accused former chief minister and DMK chief M Karunanidhi of adopting double standard on the issue of Kachchativu island, ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974 under an agreement between India and Lanka.

“The livelihood of Indian fishermen is at stake because of the ineffectiveness of the DMK regimes (in the past),” Jayalalithaa said, while winding up a debate on a resolution moved by her in the legislative assembly on Friday, urging the Centre to retrieve the island.”He (Karunanidhi) has ridiculed me many times as to what I’m up to without retrieving the islet. But his party has been part of the Central governments for nearly 16 years. What has he done?” she asked.

Jayalalithaa disputed the DMK chief’s claims that he (who was chief minister then) was not aware of the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government’s move to cede Kachchativu to Lanka, until he came to know from the morning newspapers on June 27, 1974. “Upon signing the agreement with Lanka, the external affairs minister then, Swaran Singh told the Parliament that the issue was indeed discussed with Karunanidhi on at least two occasions. With this, it is understood that the DMK chief knew of the developments prior to signing,” the chief minister said.

She recalled a resolution of the DMK’s now revived Teso (Tamil Eelam Supporter’s Organisation) recently, which suggested that the party objected to cession of islet in the initial stage itself and that it was upon intervention of the DMK that the sections pertaining to traditional rights of fishing and drying nets were incorporated in 1974 agreement. “What kind of fake act is this? In 1974, he said he had come to know through newspapers, while in 2013, he said some sections were incorporated based on his intervention.”

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