Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Jain Commission Interim Report

Indo-Sri Lankan Agreement: Evolution and its Aftermath
Chapter I - Sri Lankan Ethnic issue & Role of India

Sections 5 to 7

5 Contact of Hardeep Puri | 6 Components of Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement | 7 Did Rajiv Gandhi adopt dual policy

Contact of Hardip Puri with the LTTE

5 How talks proceeded in Jaffna before airlifting of Prabhakaran on July 24th, may also be noticed briefly as that is also very relevant.

Shri H.S Puri's first direct contact with the LTTE was established on 21st July 1986 when he visited Jaffna to escort the injured Indian fishermen from Jaffna hospital to Colombo for their onward repatriation to India. On that occasion he met Raheem from the LTTE's Public Relations Department. High Commissioner of India, Colombo, was having indirect contacts with the LTTE since the beginning of 1986 through LTTE's sympathisers, partly because of their own motivation and partly at the LTTE's behest, (S. Sivanadraja, Prof. K. Sivathampi and V. Arasratnam were some of them).

Shri H.S. Puri was instructed by the High Commissioner to proceed to Jaffna along with the Defence Service Officer Captain Gupta on 25.6.1987 to liaise with the concerned authorities for the unloading and distribution of India's relief assistance which commenced on 25th June, 86 itself. The Indian Relief Mission was given an unprecedented welcome by the people who were warm emotionally and even hysterical. They thanked the Indian Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Shri M.G. Ramachandran for providing timely. and much needed relief.

Appproximately two lakh people turned out inspite of a curfew to lustily cheer the Indian Relief Mission. When they reached Gnanams Hotel in Jaffna late in the evening of 25the June, a Delegation of LTTE representatives consisting inter alia of Yogi, Thileepan, Constentine, Santoshan and Raheem called on them at approximately 22 hours. The LTTE representatives agreed to their suggestion not to allow their armed cadres near the distribution points because this would enable Colombo to orchestrate anti Indian publicity in the World media.

After ascertaining the mechanics of the distribution of civil supplies with the LTTE Delegation, they sought assessment on military situation, the likely scenario after the completion of the relief mission and then drew the LTTE representatives into a conversation regarding their future aspirations. They gave out that they had lost Vadamarachchi because of India's unwillingness to give them much needed assistance on the eve of the outbreak of 'Operation Liberation' on 26.5.1987. Yogi said that the LTTE had barely 4000 rounds of ammunition when the attack on Vadamarachchi commenced.

Although LTTE had not lost too many of its operatives, but action by the security forces has resulted in a thousand or more civilians being killed. During talks in response to a specific query from Mr. Puri, Yogi admitted that the demand for Eelam was not only negotiable but in fact the LTTE would be willing to settle for an Accord which will ensure that the Tamils are granted a single linguistic unit, comprising the North and Eastern provinces. Yogi said that this position had in fact been conveyed to the concerned authorities in New Delhi. Yogi also added that some of the other concerns would also need to be addressed to their satisfaction but their assessment is that Jayawardene Government was determined to militarily annihilate the LTTE and cause extensive destruction to life and property on the peninsula.

In his Telegram No. 293 of June 1987, he conveyed that whilst there is much rhetoric about the need for Eelam, it is evident that a single linguistic unit (on the Indian pattern) comprising North and Eastern Provinces will satisfy everyone in Jaffna including the LTTE but it is imperative that the military operation along with the attendent violence must cease forthwith. In response to a direct question from Capt. Gupta, Raheem said that at the most, LTTE can put up a fight for a week or 10 days and capture of Jaffna city would imply a major military and psychological gain for Colombo and the prospects of Colombo making concessions to the Tamil minority would immediately be reduced. The Delegation appeared to agree to it.

On 26th morning S. Sivanadraja inquired whether Shri Puri would like to meet Prabhakaran. Shri Puri expressed that the matter will have to be cleared by the concerned authorities and he also expressed that it would be better if substantive matters could perhaps be discussed between the High Commissioner Shri Dixit and Shri Prabhakaran. Whatever talks took place with the LTTE representatives were conveyed by Mr. Puri to the High Commissioner when he returned from Delhi (on 27 June) and he told the High Commissioner that the LTTE would be receptive to the concept of a negotiated solution to the ethnic crisis provided their basic concerns were addressed in such a package.


5.1 Shri Puri returned to Jaffna on the morning of 4th July. He sought a meeting with Raheem to get a first hand assessment on the prevailing situation. Raheem met him in that very Hotel Ganams at 11.30 Hrs. on 4th July, 1987 he asked him for an asessment of the mood of the higher echeleons of the LTTE Leadership. Raheem said that with the receipt of the latest consignment of arms the senior Commanders in the LTTE were more confident and felt capable of resisting a direct military attack against Jaffna city for a little longer than the time frame, the LTTE had conveyed on 25th June. He enquired whether LTTE was still amenable to a negotiated political settlement. Raheem told him that Athulathmudali desire to portray the LTTE as intransigent and not amenable to a negotiated solution, was wrong, and that if an appropriate package could be worked out, his assessment is that the LTTE leadership would accept this.

When he returned to Colombo to convey the decision to the High Commissioner Shri Dixit and reiterated that if once a package responsive to the basic aspirations could be extracted from Jayawardene, then it is his assessment that the LTTE could be made to fall in line. If the desired concessions are extracted from Jayawardene then the High Commissioner should visit Jaffna and discuss matters with Prabhakaran. He also got such overtures from Sivanadaraja and other LTTE sympathisers. He conveyed the response that such a visit could be contemplated at the appropriate time and that it was premature for the present to fix the date. The position was reiterated by him on 11th July in Jaffna.

When he saw the High Commissioner off at Katunayake Airport on 18th July afternoon, it was his assessment that if the draft package that he was carrying back to Delhi was even acceptable in broad terms by the concerned authorities the High Commissioner should after returning to Colombo plan a visit to Jaffna.


5.2 Shri Puri was asked to proceed to Jaffna immediately, through a telephonic messsage by Jt. Secretary (BSM) on 19th July at 0830 hours "in order to obtain Prabhakaran's approval of the package". Mr. Puri was required to call on him at 0900 hours, by that time Dixit would be present to convey detailed instructions to Mr. Puri. High Commissioner repeated the instructions conveyed by JS (BSM) and the High Commissioner added that "you should assure Prabhakaran that the LTTE's long term interests would be looked after if they cooperated with India and it should be made clear to Prabhakaran that the authority to contact Prabhakaran had emanated directly from the Prime Minister through High Commissioner Shri Dixit". Puri was told that the details of the latest proposals worked out with Jayawardene should be explained to Prabhakaran. He was asked to make contact with Prabhakaran on 19th itself and report back latest by 20th afternoon.

Mr. Puri reached Jaffna at 1530 hours by Sri Lankan Airforce (Special aircraft). Shri Puri sent the message to Prabhakaran through the LTTE Head Office near Jaffna University. He even offered to be blindfolded and taken to the meeting place. Meeting with Parabhakaran finally materialised at 2100 hours. He was driven to a LTTE safe house close to their main office near the University Campus escorted by Yogi and Thileepan. He was received by Prabhakaran at the entrance.

His senior military commanders Mathayasiri, Regional Commander for Vavuniya, Kumarappan, newly appointed Regional Commander for Jaffna, Johnnie, Area Commander, Valikamum and Political Committee members Thileepan, Yogi and Shankar, who is a qualified aeronautical engineer, were present. Shankar did the interpretation.

Shri Puri said that on account of pressure generated by LTTE on the ground against the security forces and efforts made by the Government of India in New Delhi and Colombo, a stage had been reached when India had been able to extract from Jayawardene a "political package for a solution, which in our assessment should be fully responsive to Tamil aspirations". Instructions to him were to explain the outline of this package to Prabhakaran and his senior colleagues. He said that he did not have a copy of the text as it was emerging because certain crucial elements were still in the process of being discussed he made it clear and reiterated that he is meeting him under specific instructions from the highest quarters in New Delhi.

Prabhakaran's response was that when a request was received from Shri Puri, it was interpreted by him and his senior colleagues as a gesture by the Government of India and was interpreted as India's desire to formally acknowledge the sacrifices made by the LTTE. Mr. Prabhakaran added that there had been considerable misunderstanding between the LTTE and the Government of India for which certain agencies were to blame.

Prabhakaran said "I love India. I worship the previous Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi and I respect your present Prime Minister. I can never do anything which harms India". He went on to say that "not only he had been misrepresented to the Indian Prime Minister but that he had absolutely reliable information that certain agencies in India had conspired to have him killed. Tamil militant youth who had received training in India and been armed by Indian agencies, had, when they returned to Jaffna, been arrested by the LTTE, and they admitted, during their interrogation, that they had been specifically sent to kill Prabhakaran and his other senior commanders".

Prabhakaran listed some of his specific grievances and India failed to respond. Vadamarachchi was lost. Prabhakaran had repeatedly pointed out that he was not averse to a negotiated political settlement, but all that he had been requesting was that the LTTE's hands should be strengthened so that they can generate sufficient pressure on Jayawardene and a solution which is just and equitable for the Tamil people can be extracted out of Jayawardene. Instead of projecting this position correctly to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, he was being consistently projected as an obstructionist.

Shri Puri, however, said that the duties assigned to him precluded the possibility of his making an assessment on whether grievances mentioned by him are valid. He also expressed that despite various messages Shri Prabhakaran refused to come for a meeting with the Indian Prime Minister. He also pointed out that the LTTE's fratricidal killings of TELO and EPRLF cadres in April/May 1986 and November/December 1986 had not only undermined the Sri Lankan Tamil cause but resulted in a hostile reaction towards LTTE which was not helpful.

Regarding meeting with Prime Minister, he expressed that he had offended him and that he should not have done so. On the killing of TELO and EPRLF cadres, Prabhakaran became aggressive and said, "we had no choice". He said he had received reliable information that TELO had been set up by certain agencies in India to liquidate him and his senior colleagues. "In such a situation, what do you expect us to do".

He also added that both the TELO and EPRLF had given the Tamil militant cadres a 'bad name'. They had indulged in extortions, loot and rape not only in the Northern and Eastern Province of Sri Lanka but that they were a slur on the name of the entire Tamil militant movement because of their actions in Tamil Nadu. They had brought the entire Tamil Militant movement into disrepute.

Mr Puri said that he will convey what he has said to the highest quarters in New Delhi. Mr. Puri said that he would only like to explain the instructions he had from the Prime Minister. Prabhakaran's reaction was that he was only trying to clear some of the mis-understanding of the past. Prabhakaran added that the purpose of his mentioning these grievances was not to spoil but to improve relations between the Central Government in New Delhi and the LTTE. He then added, "afterall this is only a quarrel between a mother and a child. It is not possible for the LTTE to exist without India and your Prime Minister". Mr. Puri said that he is happy to hear this.

5.2.1 The second phase of the meeting commenced at 2130 hours. He gave out the following outstanding points on which concessions were required from Jayawardene :

(a) A formal acknowledgement that Sri Lanka is a multi- ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious plural society, and `not' just a Sinhala Buddist society,that each ethnic group has a distinct and separate identity which needs to be preserved and encouraged.

(b) Recognition that the areas of the North and East of Sri Lanka have been traditional areas of habitation by the Tamil speaking people.

(c) Approval that Tamil should, alongwith Sinhala be made an official language and;

(d) That the Northern and Eastern provinces, as presently constituted, should be merged to form one contiguous Tamil unit.

Shri Puri said that High Commissioner Shri Dixit had been in touch with Jayawardene and he had after protracted discussions been able to extract a package which in their view, is responsive to basic Tamil aspirations.

i) He said that Jayawardene has conceded the point that Sri Lanka should be multi- ethnical and multi-religious Plural society.

ii) He had also conceded the point about Tamil ethnicity.

iii) Jayawardene had also agreed that Tamil would be accorded the status of an official language which is equal to Sinhala, but Jayawardene could not agree to an un- conditional merger of the North and Eastern Province as they are presently constituted because he would find this impossible to sell to the Sinhalese.

Therefore a via media had to be found and, that is, the North and Eastern Provinces would be merged to form one Administrative Unit with one Provincial Council, One Chief Minister etc. A referendum could then be held on 31 December 1988, to enable the population of the Eastern Province to decide whether they wish to continue to remain linked with the Northern Province or not. The President would have the discretion to postpone the referendum. Mr. Puri reiterated to Prabhakaran that the Govt. of India would make every possible effort to see that the discretion is exercised appropriately by the President so that it may not disturb durable peace.

Yogi said that Jayawardene's response was encouraging but he said that LTTE had used concepts such as "home-land" and "nationality" which ha had not mentioned. These words or expressions were not used as Jayawardene was not agreeable to use these words.

Mr. Puri added that care had been taken to build adequate safeguards to protect Tamil interests and that in his personal assessment Jayawardene had perhaps gone further than any of them had expected him to. Prabhakaran then responded. He said that if India could extract a package from Jayawardene, along the lines explained by Mr. Puri, this would be acceptable to the LTTE but he made certain queries.

On the issue of the land, Prabhakaran asked whether it would be possible for the Sinhalese to drive the Tamil away from the North and the East and forcibly settle the Sinhalese convicts in these areas. When this issue was raised, Mr. Puri explained that once the Tamil Government is formed they would be in charge of the Administration. The Sinhalese settlers either will have to learn to live along with the Tamils or they might wish to move to other areas of Sri Lanka.

Prabhakaran then raised a question of Home Guards and of the S.T.F. They have been armed. STF and Home Guards would make it impossible for Tamils to live in peace in the Eastern Province. Mr. Puri said that LTTE should trust the Government of India. India was fully conscious of the fact that a return to normalcy would be impossible unless the Home Guards are disbanded and the STF removed from the Eastern Province. Prabhakaran chose not to pursue this issue further.

On the issue of law and order, Prabhakaran's main concern was that the safety and security of the Tamil population of the Northern and Eastern Provinces could not be ensured unless the Tamils could police themselves. He said that Tamil women would continue to be raped and Tamil children murdered by the Sinhalese because they were bent on annihilating the Tamil race. This concern is shared by India. Shri Puri responded and said that Prabhakaran should rest assured that arrangements would be made so that the Tamils would, at the Provincial level, police themselves. Prabhakaran then chose not to pursue this question.

Prabhakaran then raised a question regarding the status of Trincomalee port. He said that Trincomalee belongs to the Tamils. He asked how this can be made a Sinhalese district. Shri Puri explained to Prabhakaran that trifurcation proposal proposed at Bangalore had been abandoned. Similarly the proposal to have two separate Tamil provinces in the East and to excise the Sinhalese majority Amparai electorate from the Amparai district as envisaged in the December 19 proposals had also been superseded. Shri Prabhakaran pointed out that the entire area from Kankesanturai to the Southern tip of the Amparai district would be part of a merged Tamil province with a Tamil Chief Minister.

So the question of Trincomalee district being handed over to the Sinhalese does not arise. The Trincomalee port would however be under Central Ports Authority as is the case in India. Shri Puri added that even that being so, the entire hinterland would be part of Tamil area. The infrastructure of the ports would be serviced by Tamils and, therefore, for all intents and purposes, Trincomalee district, including the port would not be handed over to the Sinhalese. He also pointed out that India would not like to see Trincomalee port to be used by a Sinhalese government in Colombo for activities prejudicial to India and Trincomalee and other ports would be the subject of a separate side-letter to be exchanged between President Jayawardene and the Indian Prime Minister.

5.2.2 The next phase of discussion commenced at 2230 hrs. The question relating to mechanics of the ceasefire was a difficult one and Prabhakaran's fears were that he was sure Jayawardene would let down India and the LTTE and he narrated the atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan security forces during the last 48 hours both in the North and the East. Mr. Puri interrupted and said that LTTE also had violated its own unilaterally declared ceasefire by attacking on Nelliadi in the Vadamarachchi on 6th July, 1987. LTTE carried out a suicide mission by ramming a wagon full with explosives into a school building in Nelliadi which was converted into a Sri Lankan Army camp during 'Operation Liberation'. Mr. Puri assured Prabhakaran that if Jayawardene resiles from the commitments, India would under-write and guarantee implementation of the agreement and that the Tamil people need not have any apprehensions whatsoever.

Prabhakaran further expressed his apprehensions that Jayawardene would not be willing to remove his newly established camps in the Vadamarachchi region and he said that Jayawardene may agree but it is simply a ploy to seek surrender of arms by the LTTE and to formalise its control over Vadamarachchi region. He then drew a distinction between the new and old camps on the Jaffna Peninsula and told that India should ask Jayawardene to dismantle all camps established after December 1986 in order to test his sincerity. Mr. Puri told Prabhakaran that he had in one go raised three separate points - camps established after December 1986, camps established after 'Operation Liberation' i.e. after 26th May, 1987 and the issue of surrender of arms and the discussions pointed out that whatever be the nature of a settlement, LTTE would not agree to surrender of arms. Mr. Puri asked Prabhakaran if this reading of the LTTE's position was correct, Prabhakaran became defensive and said "No, we took up arms and started struggle only because the political processes had failed. If their political demands are met, LTTE would not require arms. Mr. Puri expressed his happiness to hear this statement. Prabhakaran finally said that he would be willing to proceed further provided assurance can be given to him that the camps established after 25th May, 1987 would be dismantled before the LTTE is asked to surrender the arms or even before a ceasefire. Mr. Puri said that he had no authority to give a commitment. He will report them to the High Commissioner Shri Dixit and return either with a response from the Government of India or preferably an assurance that India would ensure the dismantling of the new camps in Vadamarachchi. There were camps at Velvettithurai, Point Pedro and Thondamannaru prior to 26th May, 1987. Prabhakaran confirmed that these old camps can continue but camps established after 26th May have to be dismantled and that it should also be ensured that Sri Lankan Army is confined to barracks after ceasefire and simultaneously it should be accompanied with withdrawal of STF from the Eastern Province and the dismantling of the Home Guards. In that situation, Prabhakaran would be willing to cooperate with India.


5.3 Mr. Puri also asked Prabhakaran as to whether he would be keen to negotiate a settlement directly with Jayawardene. Prabhakaran immediately responded saying 'No'. It is better if India's Prime Minister negotiate with Jayawardene and he explained that once an Agreement is reached between Jayawardene and India's Prime Minister, Jayawardene would not be able to resile from commitments he gives to the Indian Prime Minister.

Mr. Puri then expressed that if a political solution could be worked out, LTTE would have a very important role to play and for this purpose whether he (Prabhakaran) would like to visit India. He first said that he had to return from India in January 1987 because of reports that his life in India was in danger. He said that certain agencies in India have decided to liquidate him and he would not like to visit India surreptitiously.

When a categorical question was put to him whether he would like to be invited to India, then Yogi said "if your Prime Minister invites us to visit India, we will certainly respond positively".

When the question of LTTE's role in a post-Accord scenario was discussed and Mr. Puri said that LTTE's anti-democratic stance after settlement of ethnic crisis, LTTE would monopolise power and would not permit other Tamil representatives to participate in democratic process, Prabhakaran said this was not true and that if this assertion has been made because the LTTE has been forced to take action against the TELO and EPRLF in the past, then it should be realised that this regrettable action was necessary because the activities of these two groups were not only anti-social but also because they had been set up to physically liquidate him. Discussions on democratisation process, Shri Puri thought, may continue with Prabhakaran when he meets the Indian Prime Minister. Shri Puri summarised the final views of the 2 1/2 hours long discussions so that there may not remain any ambiguity, as under :

(i) Tamil being accorded the status of an official language;

(ii) the North and East being acknowledged as traditional areas of habitation by the Tamil speaking people; and

(iii) the North and the East being merged as one administrative unit with one Provincial Council,Chief Minister, Governor, would be acceptable to the LTTE.

Acceptance of these three elements would be conditional upon the Government of India giving assurances that

(i) All the camps established in the Jaffna Peninsula after 25th May, 1987 would be dismantled;

(ii) That the Army would be confined to the barracks in the old camps that is camps prior to 25th May, 1987;

(iii) STF would be withdrawn from the Eastern Province. If India could ensure this, Prabhakaran would be happy to visit India to meet the Indian Prime Minister.

Mr. Puri repeated these conclusions of discussions twice.

Prabhakaran then categorically confirmed the conclusions to be correct.

Shri Puri said that he would return to Jaffna with a specific response, on the issue of closure of new camps established after 25th May, 1987 and regarding the possibility of Prabhakaran being invited to visit India to meet the Indian Prime Minister after he had obtained specific instructions on both these points.

5.4 Shri Puri then returned to Colombo on 20th July at about 1430 hours and reported over telephone to the High Commissioner who was in New Delhi. Shri Puri was instructed to reach Madras on that very evening to join the Indian Delegation led by the Foreign Secretary. He reached Madras around 2100 hours on 20th July and briefed the Foreign Secretary, High Commissioner and other members of the delegation about the outcome of the first round of discussions with Prabhakaran. He went with the High Commissioner to New Delhi on 21st July and returned to Colombo with the High Commissioner on a special flight on the evening of 22nd July when he was instructed to proceed to Jaffna alongwith Capt. Gupta.


5.5 They reached Jaffna in the morning on 23rd July. Prabhakaran received them. Shankar and Thileepan were there. Shri Puri then recalled the results of the previous meeting and he conveyed to Prabhakaran that his instruction is to inform him that India would ensure that camps established after 25th May in the Jaffna Peninsula would be closed down and that he had come to extend invitation for him to visit India. Prabhakaran said that unless camps were first closed down, he was not in a position to surrender the arms or move further in the matter. Shri Puri reassured Prabhakaran that camps would be closed down and his concerns would be fully met. Sri Lankan troops would pull back to the old camps i.e. Point Pedro, Velvettiturai and Thondamannaru and would be confined to the barracks in these camps before Prabhakaran and the LTTE are asked to surrender their arms. Prabhakaran raised the problem of the Eastern Province and said that the STF and homeguards were massacring Tamil civilians. Shri Puri assured Prabhakaran that the problems of the East would be sorted out and STF would be withdrawn and the homeguards disbanded so that physical protection for the Tamil civilian population and the LTTE cadres is completely ensured.

At this stage, Prabhakaran raised a new conceptual problem that the merger of the North and East as explained by Shri Puri during their meeting in 19.7.87. fell short of a genuine homeland because Jayawardene and the Sinhalese will undo the merger after the referendum. Shri Puri told Prabhakaran that the Government of India would ensure that discretion is exercised by the President keeping in view that peace and harmony of the communities is not disturbed.

Prabhakaran said that it would not be fair for India to ask the LTTE to renounce the demand for Eelam. Even TULF had not done it. Shri Puri said that TULF had participated in elections and entered Parliament, till they were unseated as a result of 6th Amendment in August 1983. TULF had nevertheless taken a pragmatic view. Prabhakaran said that the LTTE cannot renounce Eelam because Jayawardene will completely finish it. If LTTE lays down arms and renounce Eelam, their boys will be completely wiped out. LTTE had lost 700 boys since this struggle began.

Since Captain Gupta and Shri Puri were taken aback by his insistance on retaining the demand for Eelam, Shri Puri told Prabhakaran and said that the present situation presented a historical opportunity for Prabhakaran to mend fences with the Central Government in India and the Indian Prime Minister.

The Government of India would be able to ensure not only the safety of Prabhakaran and LTTE cadres but also Tamil people of North and East. Prabhakaran should also view the problem in terms of sufferings which the Tamil civilian population had undergone. Being the leader of the LTTE, Prabhakaran had the major responsibility entrusted on him to safeguard the future of the Tamil people. He said that for any further clarification, discussion can be held in New Delhi and also seek assurance directly from the Indian Prime Minister. Shri Puri then explained that India had been able to extract a package out of Jayawardene which was fully responsive to the aspirations of Tamils of Sri Lanka. It was necessary that events should move quickly so that Jayawardene does not back out of the commitments he had given. Mr. Puri had said, he had instructions to invite Prabhakaran to visit

India tomorrow, i.e. 24th July. Prabhakaran said that he need a few minutes to think. After about a minute or so, he said "OK, I will come". Then he raised some other matter. He said that he would like to take a delegation along. He wanted to take two or three body guards and also other LTTE leaders Yogi and Thileepan. He also expressed that Balasingham, who is in Madras, should also join. He also sought advice that he wanted his wife and two children to accompany him to Madras so that they meet his wife's parents who are in Madras. He will take two attendants to look after his children. He also said that he would like to pay a courtesy call on the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Shri M.G. Ramachandran and he also wanted that an LTTE operative from Madras by name Sornam be brought in the helicopter so that he could visually identify the helipad. Land for the helipad was selected and all arrangements for airlifting Prabhakaran along with the delegation were made. They left Jaffna in two Indian Air Force helicopters at 1026 hrs. on 24th July for Tiruchi. During the flight he had informed Prabhakaran that High Commissioner Dixit had informed him on the previous evening that the Prime Minister issued categorical instructions that as per Prabhakaran's wishes, the new camps established at Vadamarachchi region should be closed down. High Commissioner had taken up the matter with Jayawardene and the latter had agreed so that all the anxieties that he had expressed be taken care of. Prabhakaran seemed satisfied.

They reached Tiruchi at about 1130 hrs. Then they proceeded by a special Indian Air Force flight AN 32 for Madras at 1130 hrs. Prabhakaran, Yogi, Thileepan, Capt. Gupta, Nikhil Seth and Shri Puri drove straight from the airport to the Chief Minister's residence and Prabhakaran's family members were escorted by LTTE cadres to the city. At the Chief Minister's residence, Food Minister Shri S. Ramachandran came out to welcome Prabhakaran and he said that Chief Minister would receive only three persons. Sri S. Ramachandran escorted Prabhakaran and his associates to the Chief Minister's room. They returned after 15 minutes. It was only a courtesy call. They came to the airport and joined the other members of the LTTE delegation. Kittu, Raheem, Raghu and several other LTTE leaders meanwhile reached the airport. LTTE also alerted the Press and a large number of pressmen reached the airport and began interviewing Prabhakaran. Shri Puri and others remained away from Prabhakaran, the pressmen and photographers during the interview. Shri Puri received a detailed briefing from some of the pressmen later. The pressmen informed Shri Puri that Prabhakaran and the LTTE were extremely happy. They were interpreting the invitation by the Prime Minister as official recognition of the LTTE. One journalist even told Mr. Puri that Balasingham had earlier told him that the LTTE had agreed to the package offer by Jayawardene. This was in fact in keeping with what Balasingham told the DIB, JS(BSM) and Mr. Puri in Madras on 21st July.

They reached Delhi at 1900 hrs. High Commissioner Dixit and JS(BSM) called on Prabhakaran at Ashoka Hotel around 2030 hrs. Prabhakaran during this call on him said that camps established in Vadamarachchi should also be closed down and the details of the agreement of which reference is there in the press, had not been shown to him and to his colleagues. High Commissioner then told Prabhakaran that the agreement will be shown to him next morning and each of its clauses and sub- clauses would be explained to him. He also said that it would be preferable after Prabhakaran's meeting with the Prime Minister that an agreement between India and the LTTE could be signed. Prabhakaran said that before signing any document, he wished to discuss the matters considerably in more details. He again raised the point about LTTE's goal, Eelam. At this point, Dixit and JS(BSM) explained that there was no pressure on Prabhakaran to sign any document. The agreement would only be between the Governments of India and Sri Lanka and that the language of any understanding between India and the LTTE could in fact be jointly drafted between Balasingham and Shri Puri the next day (25th July).

5.6 Discussions took place on 25th July with Prabhakaran. Copy of the final draft agreement was handed over to Balasingham. Shri Puri read out the various clauses which were translated by Balasingham. This process took about one hour and fifteen minutes. Thereafter Balasingham said that Prabhakaran wishes to have a recess so that they could discuss various clauses amongst themselves.

At 1230 hrs, they reconvened and Balasigham outlined the responses on Prabhakaran's behalf. Balasingham said that the agreement is totally unacceptable. It had been worked out without consulting the Tamils and he said at Thimpu, LTTE had outlined certain principles. The most important of these were that Sri Lanka should recognise the Tamils as a distinct nationality and should concede a homeland to them. He added that the agreement resulted in the Tamils being reduced to the status of other smaller groups such as the Moors and the Burghers.

The concept of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking people in the North and the East have been qualified by the formulation "who have at all times hitherto lived in this territory with other ethnic groups". This would result in Sinhala colonisation of the Eastern province being legitimized. Mr Puri responded on each point and said that other similar groups are also living in these areas. This is a historical fact. Even if the 1946 Sri Lankan census is analysed, it clearly shows Sinhalese presence in the Northern and Eastern province. As such it would not be possible to expect Jayawardene to agree to formulation which said that the North and the East have been historically exclusive areas of Tamil habitation.

He also pointed out that over the centuries the demographic composition of the Eastern province has always included Sinhalese and Muslims and Puri explained that Balasingham should try to analyse the intent and operative thrust of the various clauses. For instance, he said that although successive Sinhalese Governments have sought to project Sri Lanka as a Sinhala Buddist society, this Agreement would have the effect of transforming it into multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious plural society (para 1.2), that the Agreement specifically recognises that each ethnic group has a distinct cultural and linguistic identity which has to be carefully nurtured (para 1.3), that the Northern and Eastern Provinces have been areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking people (para 1.4).

He underlined that the concept of Tamil speaking people was intended to cover the Muslims. This was necessary because unless the Muslims supported the Tamils, it would be very difficult for a Chief Minister of the merged Northern and Eastern Province to administer the area. It is very difficult to subscribe to the view that Tamil had been equated with the Moors and Burghers, and the inclusion of Burghers would help Jayawardene to sell this package to the Sinhalese who would otherwise view the entire Agreement as a 'sell out' to the Tamil. Mr. Puri pointed out that the LTTE should look at the language of the Agreement rather than search, in particular, for `code' words like `nationality' and `homeland'. Puri also said that the use of such words would pose insurmountable problems to the Indian Prime Minister who was to put his signature on the Agreement. This discussion was then not pursued by Prabhakaran and Balasingham.

Again the question of merger was raised. Balasingham said LTTE was suspicious of authority being given to the President to postpone referendum. It was pointed out to him that this clause was inserted at India's request and that he should try to comprehend the clause in terms of the benefit it could bring to the Tamil people. In connection with the referendum, question of simple majority was also raised. Then it was pointed out that for referendum necessary conditions should be created in terms of para 2.4 to enable all persons who have been displaced due to ethnic violence to return to areas from where they were displaced and that necessary conditions for this should be created. These persons can then participate in the referendum. Secondly the Tamil representatives would have to actively woo Muslim representatives, either by working out a power sharing arrangement or through some other means to ensure that the Muslims work in a manner supportive of Tamil aspirations.

When Balasingham raised the provision of para 2.5 and said that referendum as envisaged would be weighed against the Tamils because Jayawardene would have two of his appointees monitoring the referendum whereas the Tamil speaking people would have only one representative. Then attention of Balasingham was invited to para 1 of the Annexure to the Agreement which clearly stipulates that the referendum will be observed by a representative of the Election Commission of India.

Shri Balasingham then raised a point related to ceasefire. Balasingham said that it would be unrealistic to expect arms to be surrendered within 24 hours of the conclusion of the Agreement. This process would not begin until all the new camps are dismantled. He said that the period of 24 hours could be reviewed according to difficulties experienced on the ground. Flexibility would be necessary. In para 2.9 it was stipulated that the process of surrender of arms and the confining of security personnel to barracks should be completed within 72 hours of the ceasefire coming into effect. Shri Puri then suggested a formula that could ensure that the first 48 hours could be utililsed for the dismantling of the new camps in the Vadamarachchi region and the confining of the Army to barracks whereas the ceremony to lay down arms could be held in the remaining 24 hours. Mr. Puri suggested that this could ensure that surrender of arms takes places only after new camps are dismantled and Army is confined to barracks.

Some discussions continued. Some new points were raised. Then Shri Puri told Prabhakaran that he will have to report the results of the discussions to his seniors in the foreign office. It was also discussed that the statement may be issued by the LTTE on the lines suggested in the discussion. Shri Prabhakaran paused for a while and all the four, Prabhakaran, Yogi, Thileepan and Balasingham had discussions. After a while, Prabhakaran said that he cannot give up Eelam. They agreed to meet at 1600 hrs but that meeting was postponed as the Foreign Secretary, High Commissioner and the DIB met the LTTE delegation around 1600 hrs that day. LTTE delegation had also discussions with the Chief Minister, Food Minister Shri S. Ramachandran on 26th July. Then a 75-minute meeting was held with the Prime Minister on 28th July, 1987 at 1700 hrs.

Before he was flown back on 4.8.1987, Shri Prabhakaran issued the statement on July 29, 1987 (Annexure-A 5).

5.6.1 The Commission has recorded the statements of Shri Hardip Puri, then First Secretary(Political), Indian High Commission, Colombo; Shri J.N. Dixit, then Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, Lt.Gen. A.S. Kalkat, Shri V.P. Singh, former Prime Minister, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, former Prime Minister, Shri M. Karunanidhi, Ms. Anita Pratap, a journalist, Shri Kasi Anandan, Leader, L.T.T.E. and Shri S.C. Chandrahasan, Leader of the T.U.L.F. Their relevant portions are now considered.


5.6.2 Shri Hardip S. Puri appeared as BLW/W-11. He was the First Secretary(Political) in the Indian High Commission at Colombo at the relevant time and it was he who interacted with Prabhakaran and other LTTE leaders. In the narration of events, his graphic role finds mention. He played an important role in his meetings with Prabhakaran on 19th, 20th, 23rd and 24th July, 1987. From the narration, it would also appear that Shri Prabhakaran raised a number of questions, when the draft outline of the Agreement was discussed. After having received the satisfactory reply from Mr. Puri, Prabhakaran and other leaders of the LTTE present, did not pursue the discussion on the question suggesting that the reply given by Mr. Puri was an answer to the question and the question ceased to pose any problem.

One of the questions raised was that Sri Lankan camps established in Vadamarachchi region after 25th May, 1987 should be disbanded. About this, Mr. Puri said that he would convey his concern to New Delhi and only the President of Sri Lanka would be able to take a decision. When he returned to Jaffna later, he was authorised to inform Prabhakaran that his request would be acceded to.

Another issue which was raised by Prabhakaran was the mechanics of ceasefire. That was discussed. He also showed his concern regarding the status of Tamil language and merger of Northern and Eastern Provinces as one administrative unit as these Provinces were regarded by Tamils as their traditional homeland. As regards merger, President Jayawardene had agreed that Referendum would be held subsequent to merger. Tamil language was also agreed to be made the official language.

The agreement speaks of areas of historical habitation of Sri Lankan Tamil speaking people. As other communities were also living in these Provinces, so these Provinces were not described as traditional homeland of Tamils only.

Shri Hardip Puri deposed that there was a specific

suggestion from Prabhakaran that the Accord should be signed between the Government of India and the Government of Sri Lanka and that LTTE does not want to be the signatory to any Accord with the Government of Sri Lanka for the reason that the Sri Lankan Government may back out and in that situation, it may not be possible for LTTE to get the Accord enforced.


5.7 On the question of parties to the Agreement, Shri Dixit also deposed : "the Agreement was legally between the Government of India and the Government of Sri Lanka but politically all the Tamil militant groups were party to the Agreement including the LTTE. The text of the Agreement was shown to the leaders of each Tamil militant group with Tamil translation and it was explained to each one of them by the officials of the Government of India in terms of their implications. When only after each one of them agreed to the contents of the Agreement, was the Agreement signed on 29th July, 1987. The Government of India signed the Agreement on the specific request of the Tamil militant groups including the LTTE. It was on the basis of the message primarily from the LTTE that if the Sri Lankan Government agrees to certain suggestions, they are willing for a political compromise, provided it is not they but the Government of India which would sign the Agreement and should be the Guarantor of the Agreement. The reason was the assertion of the Tamil groups, that all the previous Agreements which they have signed with the Sri Lankan authorities spread over three decades were never implemented. They thought that if the Government of India directly guarantees the Agreement by signing it, it would be successfully implemented".


5.8 Shri V. Gopalsamy had filed his affidavit and raised a question that the parties to the Accord should have been the Sri Lankan Government and the Tamils of Sri Lanka, and India should have acted only as a mediator. This view of Shri Gopalsamy needs no scrutiny in view of the clear stand taken by the LTTE and the Tamil militant groups, that, signatory to the Accord should be the Government of India as that would be a guarantee to the implementation of the Accord and that they would not be a signatory to the Accord.

Mr. Kasi Anandan, a Member of the Political Wing of the Central Committee of the LTTE, deposed that "the LTTE wanted the Indian Government to be the signatory to the Accord so that it may get the Accord implemented and the Sri Lankan Government may not be able to ditch it. So, the LTTE never wanted to be the signatory to the Accord".

Shri S.C. Chandrahasan, a leader of the TULF, stated that "for the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord, militant groups were consulted and TULF was also consulted.

Ms. Anita Pratap, Journalist, who had interviewed Prabhakaran a number of times on important occasions, deposed that "the LTTE's version was that the Accord should not be with the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE, because the Sri Lankan Government would betray. So, India should be a party to it. Signing the Accord by India was some sort of guarantee for its implementation".

Thus, from the evidence, it is amply borne out that the objection raised by Mr. V. Gopalsamy has no basis.

Views have been expressed on the Accord by some witnesses. So far as Shri J.N. Dixit is concerned, it is his continued persuasion and emphasis in a very convincing manner that the Agreement emerged and he has deposed that the Accord was the political solution of such a deep rooted ethnic problem. He gave the whole genesis of the Accord in brief in his statement and he also deposed about the basic demands of the Tamils. He has also deposed about the situation which resulted from Sri Lankan Army operations which started on the Pongal day, i.e. on 12/13th January, 1987. Shri J.N. Dixit emphatically denied the statement made by Mr. P. Nedumaran in his affidavit No. 87/93 on page 11 in para 17, that some forces planned and undertook disruptive activities and sabotaged the good relationship between the Indian Government and the LTTE. Shri Nedumaran mentioned the names of Shri Dixit and Shri Romesh Bhandari and also of R&AW as notable persons involved in this sabotage. From the narration of events, the above statement of Shri P. Nedumaran stands falsified. There was no question of any sabotage in the relationship between the Indian Government and the LTTE. The Indian Government wanted a peaceful solution to the problem and never endorsed Eelam, the goal of the LTTE.


5.9 Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao deposed that "the Accord contained the concerns of both the Governments and how to bridge them and reflect the concerns of both the countries. I faintly remember that there was a statement as to why LTTE wanted India to sign the Accord and why it did not want to become a signatory. There were statements by LTTE that they had more faith in the Indian Government than the Sri Lankan Government prior to the Accord. The Accord had the concurrence of the LTTE Supremo Mr. V. Prabhakaran".

Shri P.V. Narasimha also deposed that "we all felt that it was an achievement". Shri Narasimha Rao has deposed about the Indian concern for the Accord and the views on the Accord, how the Agreement was concurred by Prabhakaran. He deposed as under :

"I visited second time Sri Lanka with Shri Rajiv Gandhi as a member of a Delegation in 1987 when Indo Sri Lankan Accord was signed on 29.7.1987. I was present at the time of signing of the Agreement. Generally it was known that if the Agreement had not been signed, President Jayawardene would have drawn help from other quarters notably Pakistan, and at the time even the name of MOSSAD of Israel was mentioned.

There was another question about the Trincomalee oil farms, the Govt. of Sri Lanka wanted to develop them and they called for global tenders. India also submitted its tender. Despite the fact that India's tender was the best out of the lot, it was not accepted under some technicalities or the other. That showed to us that president Jayawardene wanted us to do something for Sri Lanka. If we were not able to do it they would look elsewhere.

There was also the issue of Voice of America Station in Sri Lanka, it was not a broadcasting station. It could be put to multipurpose use, one use could be security oriented. So we knew all these potentials.

We were worried that if we did not have any arrangement regarding this, this could become a source of espionage of foreign intelligence against India endangering our national security.

These were the strong factors which went into the decision to interact with President Jayawardene and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the Cabinet decided that we should go in for the Accord".

"We all felt that it was an achievement, signing of the Agreement was an achievement on the part of both the Governments to solve a very important problem, and if I remember rightly this was hailed all over the world. I also remember to have been present that in one of the Houses of Parliament, Rajivji had made a detailed statement on the Agreement. There was a consistent policy at the time of Indira Gandhi. The Central idea sprouted in Smt. Indira Gandhi's time. The idea was to fit some kind of federal arrangement in the total idea of unitary constitution. In the beginning stages, everybody said it was very difficult, not only from the point of view of manual work, but constitutionally it was a very difficult task, politically also. In the beginning there was an all round scepticism for the job. It involved a thorough amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution. This again raised the question of minority/majority in Parliament. On the other hand the substantive part was found difficult. Only very gradually, from stage to stage the actual effort made, created its own credibility and finally it was found that this is possible".

"LTTE was agreeable to the Agreement in the beginning. Agreement would not have been signed but for the concurrence of the LTTE. There was a genuine effort on the part of India to elicit the concurrence of V. Prabhakaran. The concurrence of V. Prabhakaran was obtained and then only the Agreement was signed".

Shri P.V.Narasimha Rao gave the following genesis :

"The Jaffna Tamils were much more advanced, much more educated and much more influential. After Independence the major Sinhala community felt that they had been suppressed by the minority Tamils for their natural rights. On the other side the question of language figured at that time and when Sinhala was sought to be made the official language, that was resented to by the Tamilians. They were having equal status with Sinhalese earlier. After independence power equation underwent a radical change. The relations between the two sections became very strained. I would narrate one incident, that is razing of Jaffna Library which was thousand years old having rare books and manuscripts in the Library. That hurt the feelings of the Tamils. The Government was run by Sinhalese and Tamils had less say in the governance of Sri Lanka".

"The Indian Government had to organise and establish refugee camps and had to spend money on them. It was the concern of the Government that the refugees may leave and go back to Sri Lanka and peace be restored there. That could only happen when political solution could be made of the problem. We were all engaged in this solution of ethnic problem. Our security angle was also there. That was an important factor in our consideration. We stood for a unified Sri Lanka within which both communities could live peacefully. This is how we got into the political aspect of it, security aspect of it and cultural aspect of it. Diego Garcia was the American Base and from there they were operating surveillance activities. It was concern for our national security. The institution of Voice of America was established in Sri Lanka. It became part of their Accord and under the Accord it was to be closed. Something was to be done which was our concern. If India would not have intervened, two or three things could have happened. Sri Lankan President would have approached Pakistan, MOSSAD of Israel to go to their help. That would have been dangerous to us. No one could have understood the problem as clearly as we could. They would have simply taken the law and order situation and nothing beyond that. One does not know what other option could have been adodpted by Sri Lankan Government. We had some such information that Sri Lankans were having dialogue with them. They were giving out that they were not depending on India alone; they would look elsewhere".

Components of Indo-Sri Lanka agreement

6 Following were the main components of the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord :

i. An acknowledgement of the ethnic identity of the Tamils, the ethnic nature of the problem and the multi-ethnic nature of the Sri Lankan society were incorporated in it.

ii. The Northern and Eastern provinces were recognised as areas of historical habitation for the Sri Lankan Tamils for the first time:

iii. Time bound elections to the North-Eastern provincial Council, which was temporarily merged into one administrative unit, were provided for and held:

iv. Separation of the two Provinces after a general referendum was provided for. Sri Lankan Govt. had to create conditions for people displaced due to ethnic violence and other reasons to return to their original homelands to participate in this referendum:

v. SLG was persuaded to enact the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution to provide for considerable devolution of powers to the Provinces:

vi. India would guarantee the implementation of the Indo-Sri Lankan Agreement by stationing a peace keeping force in Sri Lanka.

Signing of the Indo-Sri Lankan Agreement was very much hailed by the Sri Lankan Tamil population.

Mr. Kasi Anandan deposed, "Mr. Prabhakaran did not indicate anything against the Indo-Sri Lankan Agreement. At that time, Yogi was there in the LTTE Office and Baby Subramaniam was also present. Prabhakaran stayed for about a day in the office. He was very happy. He was only worried about the Sri Lankan Government, otherwise he was very happy with the Agreement. He said that Rajiv Gandhi has done an excellent job and he expressed his gratitude towards him for arriving at the Agreement".

Shri S.C. Chandrahasan deposed, "the Sri Lankan Tamils whole-heartedly welcomed the Agreement, including the militant groups. LTTE cadres surfaced on the ground after the Agreement and the LTTE, as a matter of fact, was pushed to the wall by the Sri Lankan Army before the Agreement, that is why they surfaced after the Agreement. After the Agreement, militant leaders including Mr. Prabhakaran expressed happiness.

Thus the Indo-Sri Lankan Agreement was hailed by all and was considered as 'Dawn of New Era'.

It may be relevant here to examine the statement of Shri V.P. Singh, former Prime Minister of India that Shri Rajiv Gandhi adopted dual policy of ensuring Eelam to Prabhakaran and pursuing the policy of autonomy in United Sri Lanka.

Did Rajiv Gandhi adopt dual policy?

7 "Shri Rajiv Gandhi adopted such a policy" deposed Shri V.P. Singh when he was questioned whether Rajiv Gandhi wanted a channel of communication with Mr. Prabhakaran through the D.M.K. while the IPKF was fighting the LTTE in Sri Lanka. Shri V.P. Singh answered, "first attempt was made through R&AW when Kittu was contacted, then in March 1989 when Shri Karunanidhi and Shri Rajiv Gandhi agreed to send a delegation to Prabhakaran. In the middle of 1989, Rajiv Gandhi told Mr. Murasoli Maran that he should convey a message to Prabhakaran that Prabhakaran should distance himself from Mr. Premadasa and he would even secure Eelam for Prabhakaran".

When he was questioned as to why Rajiv Gandhi changed from greater autonomy in Sri Lanka to independent Eelam for Tamils in Sri Lanka, Shri V.P. Singh answered, "it is a sensitive area. I will not go by guess work regarding Eelam, I have come to know from Mr. Maran. Apart from the personal opinion of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the official policy of the Government of India as stated by the Ministry of External Affairs stood for the integrity of Sri Lanka and not for Eelam. This policy was continued even during our Government. The idea of Eelam and promise regarding Eelam by Shri Rajiv Gandhi was a sudden introduction inconsistent with the declared policy of the Government of India. It was this dual handling that caused much loss in our relationship with Sri Lanka and perhaps ultimately also to greater animus by the LTTE".

This view is not supported by Shri M. Karunanidhi. Shri Karunanidhi supported the statement of Shri V.P. Singh only to this extent that he came to Delhi on 9.2.1989 after becoming Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 27.1.1989, and met the Prime Minister. The meeting did not go just a courtesy call but Rajiv Gandhi discussed with him as to what should be done about the Sri Lankan problem. He deposed :

"Rajiv Gandhi told me that if I can talk to the militants and appease them. P.M. is prepared to send a Parliamentary Delegation to Sri Lanka to pursue the peace process. Though I had come for a day for a courtesy call I was asked by the Prime Minister to stay on for two more days. Shri Rajiv Gandhi sent Minister of State for External Affairs Shri Natwar Singh and officers of the MEA to me to discuss the problem. I was always of the view I have always sailed along with the policy of the Centre considering the National interest. Concerning these meetings there was a Press News in the Indian Express dated 16.3.1989. This press clipping is marked as Ex. 554.

This was the second meeting with Shri Rajiv Gandhi, and it was reported that myself and Rajiv Gandhi were on the same wave length on the Sri Lankan issue. On March 8, 1989, Shri Natwar Singh spoke in the Parliament. The Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and the T.N. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi will have further discussions to explore possibilities of ending violence and restoring peace in Sri Lanka. This news appeared in Indian Express dated 9th March, 1989 marked as Ex. 555. Shri Rajiv Gandhi also spoke in the same way in meetings at Tiruchi and Coimbatore on 5.11.1989 which appeared on 6.11.1989 in Indian Express. This speech was made on the eve of Parliamentary elections.

Politically there was no understanding between the DMK and Congress Party at that time. Shri Rajiv Gandhi expressed thanks to the DMK Government and Chief Minister Karunanidhi for offering their cooperation during the last several months in finding a solution to Sri Lankan Tamil problem. At Coimbatore he said he again patted the DMK Govt. at a public meeting for extending fullest cooperation in the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, but was sore that the DMK joined hands with the Opposition parties. This is marked as Ex. 552".

"About the time as VP Singh took over as Prime Minister the efforts of Rajiv Gandhi to send a Parliamentary Delegation to Sri Lanka did not fructify, the reason being Prabhakaran LTTE leader had come closer to Shri Premadasa, then President of Sri Lanka".

Shri Karunanidhi has not said that Prabhakaran may be told that he (Rajiv Gandhi) will ensure Eelam.

Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao categorically deposed, "we never had any such policy that we were assuring Eelam but were talking of unity of Sri Lanka. We stood for a united Sri Lanka within which both communities could live peacefully. Our policy towards Sri Lanka was the same throughout. We stood for the unity of Sri Lanka within which both the communities would have their own say. We wanted their good neighbourliness. There was no dual policy of India towards Sri Lanka to my knowledge. We never had any such policy that we were assuring for Eelam but were talking of the unity of Sri Lanka".

Ms. Anita Pratap has also deposed before the Commission that Prabhakaran knew it very well that India is opposed to Eelam. She has stated the reason also as to why India is opposed to Eelam, as told by Prabhakaran. His argument was that India itself is having 55 million Tamil population and they may even secede from India with the separate Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. India would be the final obstacle in Sri Lankan Tamil aspirations and his aspiration. In his first interview, Prabhakaran mentioned that down the line he has to fight with India and India is LTTE's enemy".

Mr. Kasi Anandan has also categorically stated that when he met Rajiv Gandhi, he did not support Eelam. Kasi Anandan wanted that Rajiv Gandhi may support recognition of Eelam as was the case of recognition to P.L.O. and the African National Congress. But Rajiv Gandhi opposed the very idea of Eelam and he stood for the United Sri Lanka.

Mr. Kasi Anandan deposed, "I alone met Shri Rajiv Gandhi. It was a meeting one to one. None else was present. It was a 45-minutes meeting. Nothing was recorded by Shri Rajiv Gandhi. I told him that war had already taken place. There was a gap prevailing between the LTTE and the Government of India and it should be bridged. There were negotiations with the Sri Lankan Governments on earlier occasions but nothing came out and we have been deceived. And I told him that we would not rely either on Sri Lankan leadership or Sri Lankan Constitution any more.

And it is India that should stand with us and solve this problem. He accepted the fact that we were deceived by the Sinhala Government. He also told me that he regretted very much for the past. He also promised that they would help us in our struggle. He did not tell that he will support Eelam. I asked for helping us in our Independent Eelam, but he did not tell anything about Eelam. I did not insist for his promise for a separate Eelam. Till that day, I knew that he was opposing to Eelam. I went to Shri Rajiv Gandhi with the purpose that he may support for a separate Eelam. He did not agree to support for separate Eelam".

The view of Shri V.P. Singh further stands negated by the negotiations/talks which ultimately culminated in the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement. The Agreement speaks of autonomy within the framework of United Sri Lanka. How could Rajiv Gandhi speak of ensuring Eelam, contrary to the declared consistent policy of India for the United Sri Lanka. On the basis of material on record, I think no credence can be attached to the view that Shri Rajiv Gandhi had at any stage expressed to ensure securing of Eelam to Prabhakaran.

7.1 From the day-to-day and hour-to-hour developments dealt with above, it would appear that talks and negotiations proceeded at different levels. The High Commissioner continued interaction with the President and the other authorities in Sri Lanka at the behest of Delhi and Mr. Puri's continued interaction with Prabhakaran and other leaders of the LTTE at Jaffna and further talks with Prabhakaran and other leaders at Ashoka Hotel, Delhi, and the final talks of Prabhakaran, Balasingham and Yogi with the Prime Minister show that the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government were in a state of dilemma. The situation was very puzzling and perplexing and confusing with no clarity of vision.

Uncertainty of the state of mind and indecisiveness, doubts and fears arising in the minds on both sides as to how things may or may not take shape in future, appears to be the mental scenario. But, finally, it would appear that matters were set at rest. Prabhakaran, it appears, felt fully satisfied after having assurance from the Prime Minister. He discussed the practical problems as well which he was likely to face for which also the Prime Minister gave a word for providing financial assistance to the LTTE and rehabilitation grant for the development of Northern and Eastern Provinces. It is only after meeting the Prime Minister, the final nod came from Prabhakaran and that was the object of inviting Prabhakaran to Delhi to have direct talks with the Prime Minister.

From the narration of events above, it transpires that the vacillations of LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government which were expected, natural and normal on such a deep-rooted problem were overcome. The package was substantially meeting the Tamil aspirations, though short of Eelam. Eelam could not be the subject of negotiations even with the mediatory role of India. So, Eelam was out of question. This was a big question before Prabhakaran as Eelam was his goal to be achieved through armed struggle. The vacillation on the side of Sri Lankan authorities was on account of Sinhalese demands and pressures.

That outburst appeared before signing of the Accord not only in Colombo but in other parts of Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's interest and concern for the political solution of the ethnic problem can be judged from the sole circumstance that despite some indication and warning by President Jayawardene and Mrs. Jayawardene, he decided to visit Colombo for signing the Agreement, on July 29th risking his life and in fact he suffered an attack on his person by a Naval rating Mr. Wijay Muni Vijita Rohana, at the time of inspecting the Guard of Honour. His quick reflexes saved him from the strike of the butt on his head. The continued persuasion from the Indian side and protracted discussions ultimately culminated into the Agreement which only shows India's concern for a peaceful solution of Sri Lankan ethnic problem.

In conclusion, what India did not do for the settlement of the Sri Lankan Tamil ethnic problem? Did it not react immediately when the situation so demanded in the years 1983 and 1987. At the diplomatic level, talks were initiated and when the situation called for to halt aggression and to provide relief supplies, a strong warning was conveyed and supplies were air-dropped which continued resulting into halting of further aggression by the Sri Lankan Army.

The Prime Minister of India condemned the genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils sternly. India expressed its solidarity and helped the Sri Lankan Tamils by providing moral and material support. Prior to the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement, it extended its good offices and played the mediatory role and continued efforts were made to bring about peaceful solution of the problem. After halting of aggression, continued, persistent and persuasive efforts were made which ultimately, after protracted discussions, culminated into the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement which responded to fulfil all Tamil aspirations short of Eelam.



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