PIL petition filed for scrapping the 1974 Indo-Sri Lankan accord on Kachchathivu Island; Indian government pledges to donate a full-fledged 150 bed hospital to Hatton – Dickoya;
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  • A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition has been filed by advocate B. Stalin, through his counsel W. Peter Rameshkumar in the Madras High Court Bench seeking a direction to the Centre for scrapping the 1974 Indo-Sri Lankan accord on Kachchathivu island and approach the International Court of Justice claiming damages from Sri Lankan Navy for killing hundreds of Indian fishermen on charges of fishing beyond the maritime border.1

    Reports noted that during a meeting between Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena and Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kanth on April 11, at the official residence of the Minister, Kanth has informed that the Indian government has pledged to donate a fully-fledged 150 bed hospital to Hatton – Dickoya under its health assistance programme. Kanth has also agreed to provide medical equipment to Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu base hospitals destroyed during the armed conflict.2 Indian High Commissioner assured Sri Lanka that the Indian government would take legal action against Indian pharmaceutical companies which had failed to supply drugs on time and also supplied sub-standard drugs violating the tender procedure.3

    Meanwhile, eight Sri Lankan fishermen who were arrested by the Indian Coast Guard for poaching in Indian waters were released and handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy on April 11 at the Kankesanthurai Harbour.4 However, the five fishermen, who were taken into custody by the Indian Coast Guard on April 7, are yet to be released.5

    The panel of UN experts handed over a report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka against Tamil separatists to Ban Ki-moon on April 12.6 The Sri Lankan Government has, however rejected the report and said that it includes unconfirmed and unsubstantiated details and figures on the final stages of the ethnic conflict which is entirely misleading and baseless.7

    The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishard Bathiudeen met with the Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Kahtan Taha Khalaf on April 12. During the meeting, minister Bathiudeen expressed his keenness on the proposed Iraq-Sri Lanka trading centre in Baghdad and establishment of direct Sri Lanka tea export channels to Iraq.8

    In other developments, Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan, in a special message expressed his gratitude to Sri Lanka for helping his country during the time of disaster.9