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"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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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Tamil Refugees & Asylum Seekers > Amnesty on Return of Tamils, 1987 

Amnesty on Return of Tamils to Sri Lanka

16 September 1987, ASA 37/13/87

Since the 29 July Indo - Sri Lankan agreement, Amnesty International has kept the situation of members of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka under constant review. The agreement incorporates provisions that the Indian and Sri Lankan governments trill ensure the safety of Tamils and others living in the north and east.

The accord has not so far been ratified by the Sri Lankan Parliament. Consequently, the structure for one administrative unit in the north and east, where most Tamils live, kiss not yet been put into operation.

Some provisions o f the agreement are now in the process of being implemented but there is delay in the implementation of others. For example, to date, the State of Emergency continues to remian in force all over Sri Lanka, despite a provision in the agreement that it would be lifted in the north and east by 15 August. Furthermore, the release program of prisoners announced by the government has not been fully implemented.

Despite a provision in the agreement for the disbanding of the Home Guards, who along with the Special Task Force have been reported responsible for extrajudicial killings and for "disappearances" 600 of which have been recorded by Amnesty International to date, Amnesty International understands that many of its members still continue to operate in eastern Sri Lanka, especially in the Trincomalee area.

In the present circumstances, therefore, it is nor clear to what extent the accord's provisions will be implemented and there must be considerable uncertainty about the safety of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

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