NEW DELHI, India, May 10, (Reuter): Sri Lanka may unilaterally impose a political solution if none of its dissident Tamil groups is ready to resume talks to end the Island’s ethnic conflict, Land Development Minister Gamini Dissanayake said, today.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency, reporting from the Southern Indian city of Madras, quoted Dissanayake as saying his government had prepared a draft bill which provided for devolution of power to Tamil and other minorities.

He told reporters that Tamil rebel groups had been unwilling to talk about it, despite offers of amnesty, release of political prisoners and confinement of government forces to barracks.

PTI quoted the minister as saying Colombo favored a political settlement and stood by the proposals of December 19, last year, formulated with Indian help, to try to end the strife which has cost more than 5,000 lives since 1983.

Among other provisions, the government would devolve more power to the Tamils in the north and east where they want to establish a separate homeland and redraw provincial boundaries to unite Tamil dominated areas.


PTI said Dissanayake criticized M.G. Ramachandran, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state, of which Madras is the capital for helping the “handful of terrorists bases in Tamil Nadu”.

He said he did not blame New Delhi for the support for the separatists given by political forces in Tamil Nadu, where more than 50 million Indian Tamils live.

But he said India had a responsibility not to let its land be used as a base for terrorism in a friendly neighboring country.

Article extracted from this publication >>  May 15, 1987