Dear Prime Minister,
On the eve of your departure to Colombo to finalise an agreement between India and Sri
Lanka relating to the Tamil problem, we wish to convey to you, and the Government and
people of India, the deep gratitude of the Tamil people for your continuing concern and
help to them. We also wish to assure to you of the support of the TULF in your present
efforts to find a solution to our problem, put an end to our suffering and enable us to
live in safety and security with freedom, honour and dignity. We wish to bring to your
notice certain matters arising from the draft agreement on which we have explained our
reservations to the Foreign Secretary.
We are totally opposed to the holding of any referendum in any part of the country and
certainly not after one year as proposed. The peace sought to be achieved will be
shattered and there will be conflict and turmoil again. Besides, the Tamil people of the
Eastern Province, more than half of whom are destabilized and driven out of their homes
and villages, will hardly be able to return to their villages, rebuild their homes and
settle down to normal life.
Not merely the army camps set up after May, 1987, but all the camps and mini camps
established all over the Northern and Eastern Provinces after 1983 should be dismantled.
The Sinhala home guards who have been armed by the government should be disarmed
immediately and the STF commandos removed from the Eastern Province.
The use of Sinhala Police and Army for enforcement of law and order in the Northern and
Eastern Provinces will not ensure the safety and security of the Tamil people. Effective
Indian involvement in ensuring the safety and security of the Tamil people in the Northern
and Eastern Provinces is imperative in the transition period.
The draft agreement provides for further negotiations regarding some aspects of
devolution. Tamil rights in relation to the Central Government should also be discussed.
We would request the participation of Indian constitutional experts along with us in the
The amnesty contemplated should be extended to cover all persons charged or convicted
under the Prevention of Terrorism Act or Emergency Regulations.
Act should be repealed.
Victims of violence by the military and paramilitary forces, as well as during the
ethnic riots, should be adequately compensated and fully rehabilitated.
Voters' lists certified after 1982 have been prepared without Tamil participation and
after thousands of Tamil voters were displaced. Any election held should be on the
registers certified in 1982.
The administration of the Port of Trincomalee and the extent of the land to be utilized
for activities related to the port should be discussed and finalised.
We thank you again,
With our kind regards,
Yours Sincerely, TULF
Text of Agreement
The President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mr.
J.R. Jayawardene, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, His Excellency Mr.
Rajiv Gandhi, having met at Colombo on July 29, 1987.
Attaching utmost importance to nurturing, intensifying and strengthening the
traditional friendship of Sri Lanka and India, and acknowledging the imperative need of
resolving the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka, and the consequent violence, and for the
safety, well being, and prosperity of people belonging to all communities in Sri Lanka.
Have this day entered into the following agreement to fulfill this objective.
IN THIS CONTEXT,
1.1 Desiring to preserve the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka:
1.2 Acknowledging that Sri Lanka is a "multi-ethnic and a multi-lingual plural
society" consisting, inter alia, of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims (Moors) and Burghers:
1.3 Recognising that each ethnic group has a distinct cultural and linguistic identity
which has to be carefully nurtured:
1.4 Also recognising that the Northern and the Eastern Provinces have been areas of
historical habitation of Sri Lankan Tamil speaking peoples, who have at all times hitherto
lived together in this territory with other ethnic groups:
1.5 Conscious of the necessity of strengthening the forces contributing to the unity,
sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, and preserving its character as a
multi ethnic, multi lingual and multi religious plural society in which all citizens can
live in equality, safety and harmony, and prosper and fulfil their aspirations:
2. Resolve that
2.1 Since the government of Sri Lanka proposes to permit adjoining provinces to join
to form one administrative unit and also by a referendum to separate as may be permitted
to the Northern and Eastern Provinces as outlined below:
2.2 During the period, which shall be considered an interim period (i.e. from the date
of the elections to the Provincial Council, as specified in para 2.B to the date of the
referendum as specified in para 2.3) the Northern and Eastern Provinces as now
constituted, will form one administrative unit, having one elected Provincial Council.
Such a unit will have one Governor, one Chief Minister and one Board of Ministers.
2.3 There will be a referendum on or before 31st of December 1988 to enable the people
of the Eastern Province to decide whether:
A) The Eastern Province should remain linked with the Northern Province as one
administrative unit, and continue to be governed together with the Northern Province as
specified in para 2.2 or:
B) The Eastern Province should constitute a separate administrative unit having its own
distinct Provincial Council with a separate Governor, Chief Minister and Board of
The President may, at his discretion, decide to postpone such a referendum.
2.4 All persons who have been displaced due to ethnic violence or other reasons, will
have the right to vote in such a referendum. Necessary conditions to enable them to return
to areas from where they were displaced will be created.
2.5 The referendum when held will be monitored by a committee headed by the Chief
Justice, a member appointed by the President, nominated by the Government of Sri Lanka,
and a member appointed by the President, nominated by the representatives of the Tamil
speaking people of the Eastern Province.
2.6 A simple majority will be sufficient to determine the result of the referendum.
2.7 Meetings and other forms of propaganda, permissible within the laws of the country,
will be allowed before the referendum.
2.8 Elections to Provincial Councils will be held within the next three months, in any
event before the 31st December 1987. Indian observers will be invited for elections to the
Provincial Council in the North and East.
2.9 The Emergency will be lifted in the Eastern and Northern
Provinces by August 15, 1987. A cessation of hostilities will come into effect all over
the Island within 48 hours of the signing of this Agreement. All arms presently held by
Groups will be surrendered in accordance with an agreed procedure to authorities to be
designated by the government of Sri Lanka.
Consequent to the cessation of hostilities and the surrender of arms by
Groups, the Army and other security personnel will be confined to barracks in camps as
on 25th May 1987. The process of surrendering of arms and the confining of security
personnel and moving back to barracks shall be completed within 72 hours of the cessation
of hostilities coming into effect.
2.10 The government of Sri Lanka will utilise for the purpose of law enforcement and
maintenance of security in the Northern and Eastern Provinces the same organisations and
mechanisms of government as are used in the rest of the country.
2.11 The President of Sri Lanka will grant a general amnesty to political and other
prisoners now held in custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and other Emergency
Laws, and to Combatants, as well as to those persons
accused, charged and/or convicted under these Laws. The government of Sri Lanka will make
special efforts to rehabilitate militant youth with a view to bringing them back into the
mainstream of national life. India will co-operate in the process.
2.12 The government of Sri Lanka will accept and abide by the above provisions and
expect all others to do likewise.
2.13 If the framework for the resolutions is accepted, the government of Sri Lanka will
implement the relevant proposals forthwith.
2.14 The government of India will underwrite and guarantee the resolutions, and co-
operate in the implementation of these proposals.
2.15 These proposals are conditional to an acceptance of the proposals negotiated from
4.5.1986 to 19.12.86. Residual matters not finalised during the above negotiations shall
be resolved between India and Sri Lanka within a period of six weeks of signing this
Agreement. These proposals are also conditional to the government of India co-operating
directly with the government of Sri Lanka in their implementation.
2.16 These proposals are also conditional to the government of India taking the
following actions if any Militant Groups operating in Sri Lanka do not accept this
frameworK of proposals for a settlement, namely,
A) India will take all necessary steps to ensure that Indian territory is not used for
activities prejudicial to the unity, integrity and security of Sri Lanka.
B) The Indian Navy/Coastguard will co-operate with the Sri Lanka Navy in preventing
Tamil Militant activities from affecting Sri Lanka.
C) In the event that the government of Sri Lanka requests the government of India to
afford military assistance to implement these proposals the government of India will
co-operate by giving to the government of Sri Lanka such military assistance as and when
D) The government of India will expedite repatriation from Sri Lanka of Indian citizens
to India who are resident here, concurrently with the repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees
from Tamil Nadu.
E) The government of Sri Lanka and India will co-operate in ensuring the physical
security and safety of all communities inhabiting the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
2.17 The government of Sri Lanka shall ensure free, full and fair participation of
voters from all communities in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in electoral processes
envisaged in this Agreement. The government of India will extend full co-operation to the
government of Sri Lanka in this regard.
2.18 The official language of Sri Lanka shall be Sinhala. Tamil and English will
be official languages.
3. This Agreement and the Annexures thereto shall come into force upon signature
In witness whereof we have set our hands and seals hereunto.
Done in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on this the twenty ninth day of July of the year one
thousand nine hundred and eighty seven, in duplicate, both texts being equally authentic.
Junius Richard Jayawardene, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India
Annexure to the Indo - Sri Lanka Agreement
1. His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India agree that
the referendum mentioned in paragraph 2 and its sub-paragraphs of the Agreement will be
observed by a representative of the Election Commission of India to be invited by His
Excellency the President of Sri Lanka.
2. Similarly, both Heads of Government agree that the elections to the Provincial
Council mentioned in paragraph 2.8 of the Agreement will be observed and all para military
personnel will be withdrawn from the Eastern and Northern Provinces with a view to
creating conditions conducive to fair elections to the Council.
3. The President, in his discretion, shall absorb such para military forces, which came
into being due to the ethnic violence, into the regular security forces of Sri Lanka.
4. The President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India agree that the
Militants shall surrender their arms to authorities agreed upon to be designated by
the President of Sri Lanka. The surrender shall take place in the presence of one senior
representative each of the Sri Lanka Red Cross and the India Red Cross.
5. The President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India agree that a Joint Indo
Sri Lankan Observer Group consisting of qualified representatives of the government of Sri
Lanka and the government of India would monitor the cessation of hostilities from 31 July
6. The President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India also agree that in terms
of paragraph 2.14 and paragraph 2.16 (C) of the Agreement, an Indian Peace Keeping
Contingent may be invited by the President of Sri Lanka to guarantee and enforce the
cessation of hostilities, if so required.
Exchange of letters
between the President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India
July 29, 1987
Please refer to your letter dated the 29th of July 1987, which reads as follows:-
Conscious of the friendship between out two countries stretching over two millennia and
more, and recognising the importance of nurturing this traditional friendship, it is
imperative that both Sri Lanka and India reaffirm the decision not to allow our respective
territories to be used for activities prejudicial to each other's unity, territorial
integrity and security.
2. In this spirit, you had, during the course of our discussion, agreed to meet some of
India's concerns as follows:-
I) Your Excellency and myself will reach an early understanding about the relevance and
employment of foreign military and intelligence personnel with a view to ensuring that
such presences will not prejudice Indo Sri Lanka relations.
II) Trincomalee or any other ports in Sri Lanka will not be made available for military
use by any country in a manner prejudicial to India's interests.
III) The work of restoring and operating the Trincomalee Oil Tank will be undertaken as
a joint operation between India and Sri Lanka.
IV) Sri Lanka's agreement with foreign broadcasting organisations will be reviewed to
ensure that any facilities set up by them in Sri Lanka are used solely as public
broadcasting facilities and not for any military or intelligence purposes.
3. In the same spirit, India will:
I) Deport all Sri Lankan citizens who are found to be engaging in terrorist activities
or advocating separatism or secessionism.
II) Provide training facilities and military supplies for Sri Lanka security services.
4. India and Sri Lanka have agreed to set up a joint consultative mechanism to
continuously review matters of common concern in the light of the objectives stated in
para 1 and specifically to monitor the implementation of other matters contained in this
5. Kindly confirm, Excellency, that the above correctly sets out the Agreement reached
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Yours sincerely, sgd Rajiv Gandhi
Mr. J.R. Jayawardene,
President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
This is to confirm that the above correctly sets out the understanding reached between
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
sgd J.R.Jayawardene President
His Excellency, Mr.Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, New Delhi.