Modi Leadership: India tells Tamil Nadu it has no fishing rights around Katchatheevu Sri Lanka
Posted on July 2nd, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

 Straightforward leadership has been lacking in politics and by politicians. Narendra Modi has shown he is a different and ushering a new era and new style. We commend the recent directive of Narendra Modi.

In what should be heralded as the correct leadership the Central Government has taken foreign policy and decision making under its control. India’s Centre has correctly informed the Madras High Court that

  1. Sri Lanka has sovereignty over the islet of Katchchetivu
  2. Indian fishermen have no rights to fish in that region.
  3. Indian fishermen can have access to the Katchchetivu islet only to dry their nets or to go on Catholic pilgrimage (this right did not cover fishing rights for Indian fishermen)

This was India upholding the texts of the International Maritime Boundary Agreement between India and Sri Lanka signed in 1974 and subsequent agreement in 1976.

India has made quite clear too that there is no question of ceding Indian territory because the territory did not belong to India. The 1974 agreement only demarcated boundary between India and Sri Lanka from Palk Strait to Adam’s Bridge.

What Modi has through his new administrative apparatus has shown is that Indian States need to now realize that their focus is on their State and not on international affairs. This is where Congress erred in allowing Tamil Nadu to dictate how India ran its relations with Sri Lanka or at least externally showcased that for petty political gain.

Modi has shown his no-nonsense attitude and put to rest an issue that has been dragging unnecessarily for years.

What people of both sides have failed to place on the discussion table is the environmental impact resulting from methodologies used for fishing in particular by Tamil Nadu fishermen. Bottom trawling is what resulted in India losing its fish as well as ruining its coastal maritime bed. These same fishermen were using bottom trawlers around Katchchcetivu that would have if not addressed in time resulted in Sri Lanka’s maritime bed falling to ruin as well. With fish on both sides unable to grow what would that mean for the fishermen – no livelihood and that would lead to greater troubles for each government.

It is on this ground in particular that Mr. Modi’s clear directive through the Central Government of India has to be applauded.

With the world and Sri Lanka keeping a watchful eye on Modi’s leadership style and leadership both internally and externally especially with nations like Sri Lanka, where Congress has ruined and fostered enmity, we sincerely hope that Modi would always do what is right and in the interest of Asia and Asian politics while also hoping that Sri Lanka’s leaders also follow the same line of straightforward leadership too.

Though digressing from the subject and for the benefit of readers it is also good to point out some of Modi’s noteworthy traits. When anyone does good it is only right that we applaud these gestures just as we point out the wrongs. Leaders doomed as those who do not take advice or take advice from the wrong set of people who give wrong advice.

Modi’s directives to MPs included :

Be regular, speak well, stop touching feet”

do your homework” – study the subject under MPs purview

make use of social media’ – The White House has been unable to compete with Modi’s twitter

Spread good governance”

MPs given directive to not speak to media out of turn”

BJP will now allow dynasty politics” – in a bid to dismantle family politics, Modi has asked MP to remove his father from post given. No family members are to be appointed as personal staff.

MPs must concentrate on work not blamegame”

MPs asked not to voice their differences in public and function as a family” – To be a Member of Parliament is an important thing and one must look at it seriously. Remember, people are observing your performance not only in the House but even outside. 

Modi asked party MPs to develop a sense of mission towards their duties and asked them to study in order to have deeper understanding of various subjects. 

Raise issues of your own area or constituency with the media; do not act as a spokesperson of the party.

Hindi to be given rightful place in India” Modi declared that all official documents must be written in Hindi

If there is a paradigm shift in India’s leadership it must be matched by the same qualities among SAARC leaders.

8 Responses to “Modi Leadership: India tells Tamil Nadu it has no fishing rights around Katchatheevu Sri Lanka”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    It is highly commendable that New Delhi has resumed her duties to represent India’s foreign policies and not allow states to provinces of that nation do that job.

    It must be equally noted that Mr. Modi also recognize the President Rajapakse and only President Rajapaksa and his government have the first and last say on any domestic policies of Sri Lanka. That especially applies to the dead amendment 13 which Modi made it his first issue to dictate to the Sri Lankan President.

    Prime Minister Modi has demonstrated to the Indian states their limited power when it comes to foreign policy, now Mr. Modi must show equal restrain in demonstrating that New Delhi’s power is also limited to her nation and does not have any validity in dictating the domestic policies of her neighbors.

  2. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    One point I must make. Though Sri Lanka has the highest standard of living in the Sub continent it is perceived as a “small island nation” by by that inference gives the Indian leaders a mindset that they have the right to meddle into the domestic affairs of Sri Lanka.

    Keep in mind India hosts a the Tibetan “government in exile” in Daramsala where the Dalai Lama resides. Does that give India the right to dictate to Beijing about the domestic affairs of China, her border nation, on what Beijing does in her province of Tibet? no.

    India helped to form Bangladesh out of Pakistan. Does that allow India to dictate the domestic affairs of Bangladesh? no.

    India effectively controls the economy of the Maldive nation. does that allow New Delhi to dictate how the Maldive nation conducts her affairs? no.

    Pakistan was part of India till 1948. Does that allow New Delhi to dictate the domestic affairs of Pakistan? no.

    Then why is Colombo so submissive to New Delhi’s dictates?

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    GOOD MOVE by Endia.

    But it didn’t come easy.

    SL NAVY had to arrest TN fishermen on a daily basis AND Endia had to get jitters over suspected terrorists coming from SL by sea to take this stand.

    FAT JAYA will not give up. TN verses center showdown.

  4. Vis8 Says:

    Good for Modi! Don’t allow extremist nutcases to dictate terms to you!

  5. Sooriarachi Says:

    Though Shenali Waduge has quite rightly applauded Modi for the stance taken by Modi Govt on the Katchateevu issue (or rather non-issue), we must also applaud the Manmohan Singh Govt for taking the same stance and making an identical submission to the courts, on a previous occasion, when this case was heard. In fact it would have been more difficult for the Singh Govt to take this position as it was dependent on the Tamilnadu politicians for survival, whereas the Modi Govt has a steamroller majority. This only goes to show that India’s position on this matter is the same, irrespective of the party in power. Let us hope Modi will be fair on other issues too, like the modification of the 13th amendment approved by JR under duress. This is where Modi could be different to Singh and prove his correct leadership.

  6. SA Kumar Says:

    The True fact is “Buddhist is a peaceful religion and SL is democratic country” BBS is created by Govt to protect Buddhist religion, nothing else. So All People of SL have the rights to support BBS

  7. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    One final note: If it is true that India planned to invade and annex Sri Lanka in 1983, then supported the Tamil tigers to divide Sri Lanka and failed only to attack Sri Lanka using the UN to push human rights violations while shielding herself from them. Then the ongoing process of Modi bringing up the 13th amendment is to remind Sri Lanka that India still considers Sri Lanka within her sphere of dominance and would interfere into Sri Lanka’s domestic issues in a manner she would not and dare not with Pakistan.

    In order for Sri Lanka to break the stranglehold and develop a new relationship with India where both nations are working as partners and not as a minor state to a major state, Sri Lanka has to rebuke India’s requests or demands on any domestic issue. By nullifying the 13th amendment after Modi requested its implementation would be the one of the first acts after the war and after the UN resolutions that would show a resurgent Sri Lanka willing to protect her land and her domestic issues from the pressure exerted by New Delhi. Otherwise the relationship with India will always remain fractious to the people of Sri Lanka. India has to understand that Sri Lanka is a rising regional power that has the right of respect from her neighbors

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    Hey, Hey, Hey …..SAKumar,

    Where did you get this “BBS is created by Govt to protect Buddhist religion, nothing else” NONSENSE from?

    Trying to create BRAND NEW rumors?

    Ho, Ho, Ho!

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