DMK slams Lankan govt for denying its navy''s role in attacks

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Chennai, Feb 3 (PTI) The DMK today slammed the SriLankan government for denying its navy''s role in a recentattack on Tamil Nadu fishermen and demanded that a new accordbe signed to establish Tamil Nadu''s rights once again atKatchatheevu, an islet ceded by India in 1974.

A resolution to this effect was passed at the party''sGeneral Council meeting headed by Tamil Nadu Chief Ministerand DMK president M Karunanidhi.

"A fisherman N Jayakumar was killed brutally by theSri Lankan Navy recently. The General Council stronglycondemns the Sri Lankan government for denying its navy''s rolein this attack," the council, the party''s top decision makingbody said.

It said efforts should be taken (by the Centre) to"establish Tamil Nadu''s rights once again in Katchatheevu".

The islet was ceded by India to Sri Lanka in 1974 byway of an accord, making it a contentious issue since then.

Tamil Nadu fishermen have frequently charged the Sri LankanNavy with attacking them and killing many while fishing nearKatchatheevu area, an allegation denied by Sri Lanka.

On the vexed issue of ethnic problem in neighbouringSri Lanka, the general council resolved that Centre shouldtake efforts to ensure for devolution of powers to Tamils, asthat alone would ensure co-existence (of the majority Sinhalaand the minority Tamil communities).

Making a pitch for the controversial multi-croreSethusamudram canal project, which has run into rough weatherfollowing opposition from Hindu groups and litigations, thecouncil said the Centre should take efforts to complete it.

The project was flagged off in 2005 but later foundopposition following a decision to dredge Ramasethu, believedto have been constructed by Lord Rama to cross to Sri Lanka.

In another resolution, the party reiterated its demandfor regional autonomy and called for suitable amendments inthe constitution for this purpose. The DMK government hadfirst passed a resolution in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 1974for regional autonomy.

The council also adopted a resolution for making Tamilone of the official languages of India.

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