(Former Tamil Nadu chief minister and leader of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham ,Muttuvel Karunanidhi has written a letter to Indian Prime minister Manmohan Singh urging him to prevent the repeal of the India-Sri Lanka agreement of 1987 signed by Rajiv Gandhi and JR Jayewardena and requesting him to ensure the speedy implementation of the pact.The full text of the letter is reproduced below)
Dear Prime Minister,
I wish to bring to your kind notice the attempts of the Sinhala Extremist Groups led by Jathika Hela Urumaya to get the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of SriLanka repealed and consequently the 1987 Rajiv – Jayawardane Accord abrogated.
This is reminiscent of the historical tendency of the Sinhalese to disown agreements and pacts made to pave way for the Sinhala- Tamil amity. From Mahendra Pact of 1925 to the agreement on a Cease-fire in 2002, nearly 14 Agreements and Pacts entered into so far have been flouted.
Therefore it is a historical fact that Sinhalese since 1925 had repeatedly rejected all offers by the Tamils for a harmonious living.
False promises and retraction from agreed positions had been the mindset of the Sinhalese leadership all along. You are aware that the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution is a direct consequence of a bilateral accord between two Nations viz., India and SriLanka. We, in India, have promised the SriLankan Tamils through this accord that we will underwrite and guarantee implementation of the Accord, because of the past bitter experience the SriLankan Tamils had with the Pacts they had entered into with the Sinhalese.
The Sinhalese Extremist Groups are planning to conduct protest marches, rallies and other forms of street demonstrations until President Rajapakse takes action to repeal the 13th Amendment and cancel the proposed September elections to the Northern Provincial Council.
SriLankan Defence Secretary and brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse, Gothepaya Rajapakse has gone on record seeking the repeal of the 13th Amendment.
As a consequence of the Rajiv-Jayawardane accord, President Jayawardene issued proclamation enabling the Northern and Eastern Provinces to be one administrative unit to be run by one elected Council. The merger was stoutly opposed by Sri Lankan nationalists. On 14th July 2006, after a prolonged campaign against the merger, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a political party, filed three separate petitions in the Supreme Court of SriLanka requesting a separate provincial council for the East.
On 16th October 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that the proclamation issued by President Jayawardene were null and void and had no legal effect. The North-East Province was formally demerged into the Northern and Eastern provinces on Ist January 2007. Rajiv-Jayawardane accord suffered a serious set-back in 2007.
Now, it is the duty and responsibility of India to intervene directly to see that the Rajiv-Jayawardane accord is implemented in its letter and spirit. That will enable a smoothening of the path towards conflict-resolution and ethinic reconciliation. India should not be a silent spectator to the events taking place in SriLanka at this critical point of time. D.M.K. and TESO (Tamil Eezham Supporters’ Organisation) have been demanding “Referandum” to be conducted among the Eezham Tamils and Diaspora Tamils under the supervision of the U.N.O. with a view to find a lasting political solution.
Let me remind you that since 1983, the inflow of Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees into Tamil Nadu has been causing a drain on our resources. Nearly 2,25,000 refugees are in Tamil Nadu waiting to return.
Reversing the process of reconciliation and conflictresolution in SriLanka will worsen the situation in the traditional Tamil homelands of SriLanka. Further influx of refugees into Tamil Nadu will bring more hardships.
A merged province in the areas of traditional habitation of the Tamil speaking people, with an elected council with powers provided in the 13th Amendment including land and police powers, as provided in the Rajiv-Jayawardane accord is one of the priorities of the SriLankan Tamils. I am sure that you will appreciate the urgency of this issue.
I kindly seek your intervention to protect the rights and livelihood of the Tamils in SriLanka.