Kachatheevu issue is a never ending problem between India and Sri Lanka. Kachatheevu being the land of India is owned now by Sri Lankans. Kachatheevu has significant features and is highly valued. In this post, you are going to read the story of Kachatheevu and its related controversies by Dravidian. In its history, you can really make out the owner of Kachatheevu. Kachatheevu problem remains to be unsolved and is waiting to find its end. Along with all this, the agreement details are also attached for reference.
Kachatheevu Island – Island of India belonging to Sri Lanka
Katchatheevu (Kachchatheevu) is an island located at a small distance from Rameswaram, India. Katchatheevu is an idle island formed by the volcanic explodes a few centuries back. The entire island spreads over 1150 meters. In Katchatheevu there are no such wonderful places like in Lakshadweep or Andaman and Nicobar islands. But the Katchatheevu Island has its own kind of significance. Katchatheevu is also named to be the ‘Dispute Territory’.
The name was actually due to its historical happenings. Katchatheevu is an island once owned by India but now it is into the hands of Sri Lanka. Another important attraction and the best tourist spot in Katchatheevu is the St.Antony’s Church. Katchatheevu is one of the finest places in between India and Sri Lanka. Katchatheevu has a great medicinal greeneries also. The 285-acre land, strategically important for fishing activities, was owned by the Ramanathapuram King alias Ramnad King (Raja of Ramnad) and later became part of the Madras Presidency
History of Katchatheevu
Katchatheevu is a historically formed island nearby Southern part of India during the 14th century. The main reason behind the origin of Katchatheevu is the blast volcanic eruptions in the Indian ocean. Katchatheevu is not a big island comparatively and is a pretty small island. There are many medicinal plants grown in Katchatheevu. Katchatheevu after its mighty emergence came into the grab of Sethupathi king of Ramnad Kingdom. Ramanathapuram king ruled the most part of Katchatheevu. Before independence, it was one of eight islands under the control of Ramanathapuram Sethupathi kings.
In the year 1480 due to the cyclone formed in the Bay of Bengal Rameswaram & 11 other island are formed in the Bay of Bengal. Katchatheevu is one of the islands among the eight islands owned by Ramanathapuram king Sethupathi. Trading of goods from Katchatheevu to the people in and around India was continuously followed. Ramnad king considered Katchatheevu to be very important. That is because there were the other seven islands surrounding Katchatheevu which are actually served by the same. The offerings of Katchatheevu includes its highly valued things of nature. Especially the roots of Katchatheevu is damn powerful and has extremely great medicinal values.
St.Anthony Church is in Katchatheevu. It was built by a Tamilian Named as seenikuppan from the Ramnad Kingdom. He built for praising the lord of Fishing community and the guardian of the Mother Sea. It is a common Church which has devotees from both the sides namely Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. The church is called to be the holy place by Sri Lanka. The church was fully completed by 1905. The church has a century old tradition and Architecture. Even now it is so beautiful to look at and had best looks.
Every year thousands of Pilgrims come to Katchatheevu for celebrating St.Anthony church festival. Katchatheevu festival has the biggest unity connecting the people between two countries. This year 2016 Katchatheevu festival was celebrated on February 28 with a crowd of about 5000 pilgrims. The pilgrims were not only from Sri Lanka but also from Sri Lanka. In order to bring the pilgrims to island 100 and above boats which work mechanically was arranged. The only good thing is that there are no controversial problems in worshiping the lord. One extremely bad thing is that during the festival Indian fishermen are allowed but their flags are not allowed to Katchatheevu. This literally shows their hatred towards Tamilians.
The whole island of Katchatheevu was under Indian rule since the 17th century. The surprising fact was the ownership of Katchatheevu by Sri Lanka. When India came to know about the owning it was too late. Since then the foreign trade was happening but it actually increased and Changed after the 17th century. After which the intruders began to invade all the parts of India. They began to formulate their own rules and regulations. Sri Lankan king also slowly started to explain their own rule over Katchatheevu. The talk regarding the rule over of Katchatheevu ended into a big fight. Sri Lanka even though had no legal rights on Katchatheevu, they were so vigorous.
Their main aim was in getting Katchatheevu into their nest. Britishers found the controversy to be going very tough. So they thought of following their methodology of handling the problem. Sri Lankan people and their king were furious and were not letting their leg go backward. This was during the 18th century during which India was with Britishers. So the Raja or the Tamil King was unable to interrupt into the rule of British people.
Katchatheevu, in order to have for India, became impossible with the new problem makers of Sri Lanka. Even though so many struggles were undergone the total crowd of Sri Lanka did not get convinced. The original ruler of Katchatheevu was India and the evidence regarding the issue was very much clear. But Sri Lanka ignored to accept their fault. The major thing repeated, again and again, was their rule over the precious elements over there in Katchatheevu.
That was the time of independence struggle too. Great and tremendous leaders of India fought through nonviolence and won the independence by 1947. The whole picture turned after independence. In 1974, Katchatheevu was ceded to Sri Lanka by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi through the Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime agreement to settle the maritime boundary in the Palk Strait with her counterpart Srimavo Bandaranaike. Till Indira Gandhi came to rule there were no big issues from India. But later Indira Gandhi planned to sign the agreement with Sri Lanka. The agreement was totally in favor of Sri Lanka. Katchatheevu agreement was signed in 1974.
According to that agreement, Katchatheevu is wholly gifted to Sri Lanka. Also, Sri Lanka has all the rights over Katchatheevu. Indian people can get the components of Katchatheevu if needed. The agreement of 1974 made Sri Lankans very Happy and proud. Later there were problems on fishing and controversies were going on between India and Sri Lanka. In order to reach for better solutions, another agreement was planned. The agreement was signed in 1976 regarding fishing activities.
Dispute between (Tamil Fisherman) Indian Fisherman and Srilankan Navy, Fisherman
According to that agreement, Indian fishermen are allowed to fish around the watery region of Katchatheevu. From that on Fishers use to fish in the sea nearby Katchatheevu with complete freedom. Again the problem started after few years regarding fishing. Sri Lankan was very cruel and rude to the fishermen of Tamil Nadu who fishes near Katchatheevu.
Sri Lankan government even arrested fishermen and locked them in their own land. This major incident created a massive fire in India and Tamil Nadu especially. Thereafter Sri Lankans were not in a mood to compromise with Tamilians or any other Indians. Moreover, they started to commence war on poor Tamilians.This arrogance war killed thousands of people. Mr. Velupillai Prabhakaran, army man from Tamil Nadu fought for the Tamil people living in Sri Lanka. But that too was bashed out by Sri Lankan Head Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Till now people are ill-treated because of their nativity alone. Mr.Prabakaran is also shot dead by those bad humans. Now recently, his son was shot dead who was a little teenage boy. Katchatheevu is also playing a vital role in giving chances for augmenting in death rate.
Claiming of Katchatheevu
Now in the recent years, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister along with many politicians decided to get Katchatheevu back from Sri Lanka. This is because of the terrible happenings to the Tamil Fishermen. Tamil Fishermen were betrayed very badly. The idea of claiming back Katchatheevu made Sri Lankan furious. Since the issue is firing up high Chief Minister Jayalalithaa planned in order to extinguish it. Recently while meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa revealed the issue of Fishermen to him. Also, she spoke about getting back of Katchatheevu from Sri Lanka in order to reduce the Chaos. But the talk is still now going on. India still believes Katchatheevu to be part of itself and hence his to be returned back. This decision is mainly for ensuring safety and security to fishermen
Many have been locked in Sri Lanka itself for their entry into the islet or near Sri Lankan border. Although this issue is going on one side the Sri Lankan government doesn’t want Indian fishermen to get into their island or their sea waters. In the recent 2014, Sri Lankan government strictly narrated about the entry of fishermen. Similarly, in 2015 Sri Lankan Prime Minister openly said that if any fishermen enter into Sri Lankan border they will be shot dead. And this is exactly the current scenario. Only the higher authorities need to get with a good solution to save poor Tamilians (Tamilans) and their respective families.
Kachatheevu Island – The island of Controversies
Kachatheevu, an island with many controversies and problems remains to be unsolved. The major issue revolving around Kachatheevu is the border problem. Because of the crossing of the border by Indian fisherman, Srilankans are irritated and tortures the poor people. Consequently, the fishermen along with the family are suffering the pain. This is all due to the Kachatheevu ownership. There are plans for getting the Kachatheevu back but are not executed properly. People are valuing the land more than the life of man. Only if this attitude is changed everything can get resolved.