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What Sri Lanka must tell India regarding Indo-Lanka Accord / 13a & Devolution

  1. Prabakaran was not privy to the contents of the Indo-Lanka Accord drafted by India

Prabakaran did not demand Indo-Lanka Accord (in fact he did not know its contents. Prabakaran was not shown the draft of the Indo-Lanka Accord to even agree or disagree. Which means Prabakaran never gave his consent to the Indo-Lanka Accord.

He was flown to Delhi on 21July 1987 with his family in 6 Indian helicopters & kept at the Ashok Hotel.

Prabakaran was kept by force in New Delhi until Indian PM signed the Accord in Sri Lanka on 29 July 1987. Prabakaran was flown back to Jaffna only after Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi returned on 2 Aug 1987.

Prabakaran was kept in Delhi from 21 July to 2 Aug 1987 (close to 2 weeks)

Prabakaran had no access to his fighters during this period showcasing India was in total control of the situation.

LTTE maintained that Indian intervention ‘was not in the interest of the Eelam Tamils”. Thus, if as TNA claims, LTTE is the sole representative of the Tamil people, this means Tamils too did not agree with the Accord. LTTE emerged sole representative only after eliminating the leaders of other Tamil militant groups sending a message to those that supported these militant groups, that they could not dictate to LTTE. It is possibly this attitude that resulted in orders to eliminate Prabakaran just 2 months after IPKF landed in Sri Lanka.

  1. Indo-Lanka Accord was signed under duress

No one in Sri Lanka was privy to the contents of the Accord

It was signed under State of Emergency & Curfew.

No media was allowed.

Even the country’s Prime Minister boycotted the signing while other senior ministers did not attend & Minister Gamini Jayasuriya resigned in objection.

  1. India violated Sri Lanka’s sovereignty & territorial integrity

India announced it was sending a convoy of 19 ships carrying 38 tons food, fuel & medicine on 2 June 1987 – it was turned back on 4 June 1987 by Sri Lanka Navy.

India then carried out an airdrop of 25 tons of food with 35 national & international journalists inside the planes which was accompanied by armed Mirage crafts ready to fire (Operation Poomalai/Eagle Mission 4)

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Delhi – Bernard Thilakaratne was summoned & Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh informed him at 3p.m. that at 4p.m. the Indian Air Force would be dropping supplies over Jaffna & if the Sri Lanka Air Force reacted they ‘would be met by force”. The Indian planes returned to Bangalore at 6.15p.m. A crime of aggression by India against Sri Lanka.

The Accord was signed under coercion.

India sent ships violating Sri Lanka’s territorial waters.

India violated Sri Lanka’s airspace giving only 30 minute notice & threatening Sri Lanka not to react.

India whisked a wanted terrorist to safety in 6 helicopters.

Sri Lanka’s President J R Jayawardena accused India of violating its sovereignty. India defended by saying it was a mercy mission.

India violated:

Article 2(4) of the UN Charter requiring members to refrain in the international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State”.

Article 51 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties expression of a state’s consent to be bound by [a] treaty which has been procured by coercion of its representative through acts or threats directed against him shall be without legal effect

Article 52 of the same Convention  a treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.”

Historical incorrect clauses in Indo-Lanka Accord – claiming North & East as Tamil Homelands & ‘areas of historical habitation of Sri Lankan Tamil speaking people”.

There was never an independent or sovereign Tamil kingdom to warrant homeland claim. Tamils have to prove they are separate to South Indian Tamils & evolved in Sri Lanka instead of India to claim a homeland in Sri Lanka.

The term Sri Lanka” itself was coined in 1972 with the Republican constitution. The term Ceylon Tamils” was coined only in 1911.

The Sri Lankan officials should have demanded a rephrasing of this clause.

India cannot decide the official language of Sri Lanka.

Tamil was never an official language prior to colonial invasion & occupation nor was Tamil an official language after colonial invasion & occupation.

Thus Tamil, that was not official before 1505 or after 1505 cannot claim a grievance in 1956 at the time of introducing the Official Language Act. English was the official language. The mistake made in introducing Sinhala as the official language with reasonable use of Tamil, should have been to continue with English.

There can be no grievance when Tamil was never an official language.

India failed to fulfill its obligations promised in the Indo-Lanka Accord

Sri Lanka’s obligation to adhere to the Accord was condition to India’s performance & implementation of 5 key steps that India failed to honor.

The principle of international law Pacta Sunt Servanda” (for agreements to be kept both parties must execute their mutually agreed obligations)

India breached its obligations under the Accord.

India claimed it would preserve the unity, sovereignty & territorial integrity of Sri Lanka – it failed to do so

India claimed it would disarm LTTE in 120hours – it failed

India claimed to bring peace & normalcy after signing Accord – it failed.

India claimed traditional friendship between Sri Lanka & India would intensify – it didn’t

India claimed Sri Lanka would be safe & prosperous – Sri Lanka wasn’t

India claimed that the merged North & East forming one administrative unit with provision to separate via referendum in East Sri Lanka would be held on 31 December 1988 – it was not held. TULF even objected to the merger.

India assured right to return to areas for the displaced – Sinhalese & Muslims have yet to return to where they once lived before being chased out by LTTE.

India assured cessation of hostilities within 48 hours of signing Accord – it didn’t happen

India assured all militants would be disarmed within 72 hours of signing Accord – it didn’t happen

Indo-Lanka Accord mentions only 2 provinces & elections in only these 2 provinces.

The 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord mentions only the North & East provinces.

There is no mention about any provincial system for the other provinces or even elections in these 2 provinces.

The Accord merged the North & East and a referendum was required to be held after a year asking the people if they wished to remain merged. Such a referendum was not held. Eventually elections was held only in 2008 in the East & 2013 in the North after the Sri Lankan Armed Forces eliminated the LTTE.

Merging of only North & East is mentioned in the Indo-Lanka Accord.

Elections in only North & East is mentioned in the Accord

There is NO MENTION of any system or election in any other provinces.

Merger of NE was included in 1987 Accord following proposal by G Parathasarathy who was Indira Gandhi’s representative who proposed merger via Annexure C in Aug/Nov 1983 but the proposals were not tabled during the Dec 1983 All Party Conference. Paratharasathy was not included to PM Rajiv Gandhis team.

India that claimed to disarm Tamil militants via Accord created the Tamil National Army

India that claimed to disarm LTTE/Tamil militants within 72 hours went on to create another India-friendly group, armed by the IPKF to support Indian stooge Varatharaja Perumal who became Chief Minister of merged NE Province. This was breaching India’s own commitment in the Accord to preserve unity & sovereignty in Sri Lanka. It also showcased that the India that secretly trained Tamil militants could not be trusted to disarm the very entities they created.

Mention of Trinco Port/Trinco Oil Tanks in the Indo-Lanka Accord had nothing to do with Sri Lanka’s conflict or LTTE demands.

Inclusion of Trinco Port & Trinco Oil Tanks in the Indo Lanka Accord was to fulfill India’s interest only & it is the reason why the merger of North East provinces was also included.

Indo-Lanka Accord nor exchange of letters between Rajiv Gandhi & J R Jayawardena does not mention Devolution

India was pro-Russia & distant from US in the 1980s/90s today India is a partner of US. If India would have objected to US using Sri Lanka’s Ports then, why is India okay with US using Sri Lanka’s Ports now.

How do we know if China, that is India’s enemy today may become India’s friend tomorrow when the reality dawns on India that US will balkanize it as planned!

Text of the Indo-Lanka Accord with the exchange of letters between the leaders of Sri Lanka & India https://www.sangam.org/FB_HIST_DOCS/ISL%20Accord%20.htm

Indo-Lanka Accord does not mention 13th amendment / Provincial Council System though PC system was discussed before Indo-Lanka Accord.

Indo-Lanka Accord does not mention amending Sri Lanka’s constitution.

13th amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution was passed on 14th November 1987 after discussions since 1986.

If Indo-Lanka Accord does not mention 13a – India has no basis to demand implementation of 13a given that it is not part of Indo-Lanka Accord & is a domestically passed amendment. Sri Lanka does not need to seek permission from India to annul 13a as a result. Sri Lanka’s leaders & political parties have no reason to be asking for permission from India either or allowing India to make statements regarding a domestic legislature.

13a is only being used under 2.15 of Indo Lanka Accord residual matters shall be resolved between India & Sri Lanka”.

The PC system is a waste of public funds.

How can a provincial council system solve a supposed ethnic problem”.

How ethnic” is the problem when the terrorist LTTE killed even Tamils

Similarly, it is important to note that out of the 37 subjects to be devolved to the provinces 36 have been devolved. In over 30 years what is the success that the PC system can boast of? Is their failure because land powers & police powers are not given? The people of the provinces are not asking for land & police powers – so who wants it & why?

TULF letter to PM Rajiv Gandhi on 28 Oct 1987 reveals the 13a & PC system with NE merger was birthed by India & not Sri Lanka’s Tamil politicos or the LTTE.

This letter by 3 TULF leaders which included R. Sambanthan claimed 13a Bill & PC Bill did not meet Tamil aspirations.

1984 Draft District & Provincial Councils Development Bill by J R Jayawardena to decentralize powers at District level to Provincial Level.

TULF rejected proposals.

Thimpu Talks commenced in July/Aug 1985.

Sri Lanka agreed to form separate PCs with limited powers.

This was how Sri Lanka was trapped into creating PCs amending SL’s constitution.

LTTE rejected the PC proposals.

TULF proposes to combine North & East into single Tamil linguistic state in Dec 1985 within framework of a UNITED Sri Lanka with Indian nod of approval.

Note: replacement of UNITARY with UNITED Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka rejected TULF proposals citing UNITARY

India secretly trained Tamil youth in armed militancy. The Jain Commission report names this camps & by 1986, Indian intel had trained over 3500 Tamils in India, armed them & sent them to Sri Lanka to commence attacks against Sri Lankan troops. Tamil self-determination bid launched from Tamil Nadu was prevented by passing the 16th amendment in 1963 & by supporting Tamil militancy in Sri Lanka. Having created the conflict in Sri Lanka, India began engaging Sri Lanka claiming to help solve what they had created. By this time, geopolitical players saw the advantage of using LTTE, Tamil militancy & its slogans & began to enter the fray in various disguises & formats. All attempting to cut a piece of Sri Lanka claiming to deliver peace.

Shenali D Waduge



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