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LankaWeb – INDO-LANKA PACT – Lankaweb

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Signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord

India expected to resolve the Sri Lanka terrorist war out of the Indo-Lanka Pact.

The Indo-Lanka Pact was signed in Colombo on July 29 1987, between late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayewardene. It was one of the conditions in the pact to execute the Thirteenth Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution and Provincial Councils Act of 1987. The Tamil politicians are still pursuing it in the North up to now. 

J.R. Jayewardene agreed under pressure to distribute power to the provinces and withdraw the Sri Lankan troops to the barracks in the North of Sri Lanka. It was his (JR’s) ambition that the Tamil terrorists would surrender their arms. However, the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) did not accede to J.R. ‘s resolution. Instead, they continued their guerrilla warfare claiming a separate state for Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The LTTE did not participate in the Peace Talks between Rajiv Gandhi and J.R. Jayewardene. However, they had to agree under pressure from the Indian Government to

The IPKF memorial in Colombo

surrender arms to the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). Later the LTTE decided to break their agreement and marched to the battlefield. Meanwhile, the JVP insurgency started in the South.

The signing of the Indo-Lanka Pact became the most dangerous anarchist period in the country. It was associated with merciless killings. On the eve of the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, a Naval Officer assaulted Rajiv Gandhi with his rifle butt at the guard of honour. Gandhi miraculously escaped death from the attack by skipping forward when only the butt of the thick end of the rifle landed on Gandhi’s shoulders, narrowly escaping his head.

Politicians’ confusion 

Many politicians were against the signing of the Indo-Lanka Pact. Sarath Weerasekera (before becoming a Minister and now resigned) always spoke against this pact. He was opposed to handing over the Provincial Councils.

With the signing of the Indo-Lanka Pact, the country turned into the most dangerous revolutionary period of Sri Lankan history, (akin to 9th of May 2022) with merciless killings and vengeance. Rumours suggested Rajiv Gandhi exerted pressure on J. R. Jayewardene to sign the pact.

For the first time, the Sangha Sabha protested against the signing of the Indo-Lanka Pact. Therefore, the entire nation viewed the Indo-Lanka pact as a massive blow to Sri Lanka, except for the Tamil politicians in the North.

From time immemorial, Ceylonese kings quite successfully defeated every Chola assault against ‘Ceylon’. The Ceylon history reveals how King Gajaba attacked the Indian forces and after every

Former LTTE female soldiers

every invasion, the King managed to bring 10,000 -12,000 prisoners as enslaved people to help construct Sri Lanka’s irrigation works.

In 1985, the Sri Lanka Government re-armed all the forces as a result of the anti-insurgent operation of the JVP (Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna). In 1986 the Sri Lanka Government sought assistance from Pakistan, Israel, Singapore, and South Africa to step up a speedy anti-insurgency operation against the JVP. In 1987 the Government commenced a punitive operation against the LTTE to capture LTTE fortresses in Jaffna Peninsula.

It involved 4,000 troops with the support of helicopter gunships and ground attack aircraft and made a military blockade in Jaffna, compelling the LTTE to surrender. Pressure from India ultimately halted the Sri Lanka Government’s offensive attack and commenced negotiations on a political settlement.

Human Rights Violations 

At the Geneva sessions, year on year, human rights violations systematically organised by the Tamil Diaspora abroad come up against Sri Lanka. The situation is quite diverse from the local scene. They seem to twist and turn facts to their advantage, and it’s a tragedy that the Geneva hierarchy accepts their statements without adequate proof or evidence. Therefore, the Sri Lanka Government needed and still needs to take remedial action to convince some of the countries that vote against Sri Lanka, which the Lankan diplomats have failed so far.

Vadamarachchi Operation 

The Vadamarachchi area is one of the three historic regions in the North of Sri Lanka. In early 1987, the military formulated a plan to re-establish the once government-controlled area dominated by the LTTE. The military wanted to destroy the LTTE and re-capture the land controlled by the LTTE in Jaffna peninsula. The operation plan involved 8,000 soldiers, with a ground-attack squad, aircraft, helicopter gunships and backed by naval gunboats. Sri Lankan Forces used conventional warfare to destroy the LTTE and re-capture it.

Divisionary operations did air traffic and road traffic to confuse the LTTE, who observed the Army bases. The late President J.R. Jayawardene approved the details of the plan, and the Joint Operations Command, led by the late General Cyril Ranatunge, coordinated with other forces. The Minister of National Security, the late Lalith Athulathmudali was notified of the planned operation shortly before it started to suspend all attacks. Minister Athulathmudali was naturally infuriated to receive such instructions at the eleventh hour. Ultimately the massive operation had to stop immediately.

Indian Air Force 

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force dropped food supplies over Jaffna on June 4, 1987, making the Sri Lanka Government technically accept the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord. In 1991 Rajiv Gandhi became a suicide bomb victim by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam. The Indian press reported that LTTE Leader Prabhakaran decided to eliminate Rajiv Gandhi, because Rajiv Gandhi was against the LTTE struggle. The late Prabhakaran was supposed to be under the impression that Gandhi might re-induct the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). Such events resulted in the Indian Government diminishing interest in supporting the LTTE gradually.

Adele Balasingham 

The late Anton Balasingham’s wife, Adel Balasingham, was in charge of the women brigade of the LTTE. She travelled from London to Vanni to recruit children. The LTTE was in dire need of soldiers, and Adel Balasingham became responsible for recruiting young under-aged children and sent them as cannon fodder to face the trained Sri Lankan Armed Forces. The Geneva Convention 77.2 convention rights forbid any state or non-state armed groups from using children under 15 directly in hostilities. Adel was not concerned with the Geneva Convention because of the dire need of manpower for the LTTE. She voluntarily recruited young boys and girls under fifteen years of age.

It is surprising how Adel Balasingham, an Australian woman, who qualified for British Citizenship once she married Anton Balasingham (British Passport Holder), the LTTE’s theoretician in London has managed to escape being prosecuted by the British Government. She was responsible for breaking the International Law and sending underage youths as Cannon Fodder during the LTTE war, which ended in Sri Lanka in 1969. Still, she is allowed to live in a luxurious mansion to date, in the posh side of South of London (Wimbledon).

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picture credit Ceylon Daily News

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