Friday, Sep 17, 2021
Outlook.com

Ten Tumultuous Years...

With an accord gone awry and a change in perception, the Tamil question is now an ‘internal’ affair

Ten Tumultuous Years...
Ten Tumultuous Years...
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

A decade ago on July 29, 1987, Rajiv Gandhi and Julius Richard Jayawardene signed the Indo-Sri Lanka accord, aimed at ending the vicious ethnic violence in the island and fostering good relations. In the process, the Indian Army got embroiled in a bloody two-year war. All players involved in the 1987 drama, with the lone exception of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, are dead: Jayawardene, Rajiv Gandhi and Gamini Dissanayake; opponents including ex-president Premadasa and Lalith Athulad-mudali; Tamil supporters of the accord, TULF leaders A. Amrithalingam and V. Yogeswaran and EPRLF leader Padmanabha. The chief minister of the India-created Northeastern Province, Varatharaja Perumal, is languishing as a refugee in Rajasthan.

Why did the peace attempt boomerang? How did the ‘Tamil Nadu’ factor, a key component in India’s policy towards Lanka, become a non-entity? In 1990, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was withdrawn from Sri Lanka when I.K. Gujral was foreign minister and M. Karunanidhi chief minister of Tamil Nadu....

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