Kachchativu Belongs to SL

Kachchativu Belongs to SL

Key Points on Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty over Kachchativu Island

Historical Dispute: Sri Lanka’s sovereignty over Kachchativu Island has been historically contested by India, despite India formally withdrawing its claim to the island years ago. The barren island has been a point of contention for over a century.

Book by W. T. Jayasinghe: W. T. Jayasinghe, a key figure in formulating the maritime boundary agreement between Sri Lanka and India, authored a book titled “Kachchativu: And the Maritime Boundary of Sri Lanka” to dispel misconceptions about India “ceding” the island to Sri Lanka.


Maritime Boundary Determination: The book reveals that the Kachchativu issue played a significant role in demarcating the maritime boundary between Sri Lanka and India. Laws were enacted to confine fishing activities within the boundaries of each country.Sri Lanka’s sovereignty over
Kachchativu, according to the narrative, was never in doubt and it was in fact the Kachchativu issue that decided the demarcation of the maritime boundary between Sri Lanka and India

Expansion of Maritime Regime: In the 1970s, Sri Lanka expanded its maritime regime following the resolution of the Kachchativu dispute, proclaiming sovereignty over the maritime zone recognized under international law.

British Involvement: The British government, in the early 20th century, initiated the demarcation of waters between Sri Lanka and India, using the principle of equidistance and the median line for division.

Joint Agreement: An agreement was reached between Sri Lanka and India, with the maritime boundary being demarcated to ensure equitable apportionment of fisheries resources. Madras officials accepted Sri Lanka’s sovereignty over Kachchativu.

Resolution Attempts: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake attempted to resolve the Kachchativu issue during his tenure, but faced challenges due to territorial disputes and shifting political dynamics.

Indo-Ceylon Relations: The issue of Kachchativu became a focal point in bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and India, with discussions held at the highest levels of government.

Final Agreement: In 1974, during a visit to India by Prime Minister Bandaranaike, the sovereignty of Kachchativu was officially accepted by India, marking a significant milestone in Indo-Sri Lankan relations.

Impact on Fisheries: The agreement resulted in a reduction of Sri Lanka’s fishing area and included provisions for joint exploitation of mineral deposits across the maritime boundary.

Overall, the resolution of the Kachchativu issue had far-reaching implications for maritime boundaries, bilateral relations, and fisheries management between Sri Lanka and India.



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