2nd lead

Chinese 'pre-fabricated structures' in Kachchatheevu

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 March 2010, 07:04 GMT]
The presence of Chinese in Sri Lanka owned island of Kachchatheevu, considered as a threat to the security of India, is confirmed by a group of journalists and social activists from Tamil Nadu. More than thirty pre-fabricated structures with Chinese names were found on the island of Kachchatheevu located on the sea boundary between India and Sri Lanka by Tamil Nadu journalists and social activists who participated in the recent annual festival of Kachchatheevu St. Antony’s Church, according to Dinamalar, a Tamil Nadu daily. The pre-fabricated structures, however, were unoccupied but evidence of people living in them was observed by the visiting journalists from Tamil Nadu who were not permitted to photograph them by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) soldiers. The presence of Chinese in the island of Kachchatheevu is seen as a threat to the security of India by its citizens, Dinamalar added.

Chinese in Sri Lanka
A china donated hut photographed in Kachchatheevu by Indian fishermen. [Photo courtesy: Dinamalar]
Sri Lankan fishermen and the SLN soldiers to whom the journalists spoke during the festival confirmed that Chinese men who were staying in Kachchatheevu had been temporarily moved out due to the festival.

They were further told that a program of joint patrol surveillance training for SLN and Chinese navy soldiers is in progress in Kachchatheevu.

‘Attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen’, ‘Tamil Nadu fishermen chased off from Kachchatheevu by SLN’, ‘Chinese surveillance tower in Kachchaitheevu’, ‘China targeting India’ are some of the recent allegations raised by Tamil Nadu fishermen.

The allegation of a Chinese surveillance tower had caused quite a stir in India and when questions were raised Sri Lanka government had categorically denied any presence of Chinese in Kachchatheevu, the journalists said.

It was suggested that representatives from both countries should jointly investigate into the allegation visiting Kachchatheevu but it did not materialize due to reluctance of Sri Lanka, they added.

Hence, journalists and social activists from Tamil Nadu had participated in the festival with the aim of finding the true situation in Kachchaitheevu using the opportunity of visiting Kachchatheevu which is out of bounds for anyone.

Sri Lanka had permitted devotees from Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu to attend the Kachchatheevu St. Antony’s Church festival this year after nearly 23 years.

The festival had not taken place from 1978 t0 2001 after which though important rituals were allowed until 2005, devotees were not permitted to take part in them.


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