TNA MP says his party supports India's demand for Katchatheevu

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Chennai, Sep 17 (UNI) The demand from the political parties in Tamil Nadu to retrieve Katchatheevu, ceded to Sri Lanka under an agreement in 1974, received a shot in the arm with a member of Lanka's Tamil National Alliance (TNA) extending its support for the cause saying it would end killings of innocent fishermen from Tamil Nadu.

Espousing the cause for the retrieval of Katchatheevu for the benefit of Indian fishermen and to prevent frequent attacks by the Lankan navy personnel, TNA MP Sivajilingam said the Sri Lankan Tamils would be happy if India succeeded in getting it back.

The Sri Lankan Tamils have always expressed their solidarity with Tamil Nadu fishermen- who are subjected to frequent attacks and harassment by Lankan Navy.

''We know retrieval of Katchatheevu by India will provide a lasting solution to prevent killing of Indian fishermen by the Lankan navy'', he said, adding the TNA could not go beyond this level.

''As far as the Katchatheevu issue is concerned, we are unable to help them more than this level (expressing soldiraity for fishermen's cause). Sri Lanka will, no doubt, be happy if India gets back Katchatheevu'', he asserted.

Condemning the military attacks carried out by the Mahinda Rajapakse government on innocent Sri Lankan Tamils in the name of waging a war against the LTTE, Mr Sivajilingam sought India's intervention to prevent such attacks and help in finding a lasting political solution to the ethnic crisis there.

He also urged India not to extend any military assistance to Sri Lanka.

UNI GV VV SY VC1926

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