Colombo — Sri Lanka’s ruling United National Party Monday charged India with carrying out a secret ‘“‘de facto invasion” by arming and training Tamil separatists.
The statement came six hours after India repatriated seven Sri Lankan sailors whose patrol craft was detained by the Indian Coast Guard Jan. 11. Sri Lanka Monday also released 17 Indian fishermen charged with poaching in its territorial waters.
A United National Party statement charged that “Sri Lanka is experiencing a de facto invasion by India using Tamil terrorists and some members of Tamil political parties as its de facto troops.”
The Sri Lankan population of 15 million is 70 percent Sinhalese Buddhist and 20 percent Hindu Tamil, whose ancestors came to the country from southern India.
The Tamil rebels are fighting for the creation of their own state on the northern end of the island where most of them live.
The Indian intelligence organization ‘called the Research and Analysis Wing, or RAW, was charged with planning the invasion of East Pakistan, which later became Bangladesh, and is now masterminding a similar invasion of Sri Lanka.
One leader said the Tamils were armed with the most modern military weapons and whatever equipment they lose in battle is replaced by India.
The statement referred to an article in the London Observer dealing with the recent Indian spy scandal that said RAW had drawn up a document last month on New Delhi’s covert activities among Tamil guerrillas on Gandhi’s personal orders.
The statement called on President Junius Jayewardene to take appropriate action with Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Jayewardene, who has already agreed to meet with Gandhi, will send Minister of National Security Lalith Athulathmudali as his special envoy to New Delhi after his current visit to Washington.
The sources said Athulathmudali was lobbying the Reagan administration for military aid.
Article extracted from this publication >> February 1, 1985