New Delhi: Former Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa had threatened to launch attack on India in late 1980s. This has been revealed by then Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Lakhan Lal Mehrotra, in an interview to a journal of the Ministry of External Affairs. In 1989, then President had conveyed it to the Indian envoy, Mehtotra, during the latter’s visit to the President’s Colombo office.

During conversation, the President had said that if India did not agree to withdraw IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Forces) from the northern and eastern parts of the island nation, he would announce on the national television that Sri Lankan troops would take hold of the region where IPKF was carrying out operations against Tamil insurgents. Listening this, Mehrotra told to the President Premadasa that he had come there for peace but if the Lankan government wanted war, it should be ready to face consequences.

Sensing the growing tension during the conversation, the Sri Lankan foreign minister Ranjan Wijeratne and other leaders requested Mehrotra to calm down. Indian envoy had told to the Lankan foreign minister that India was always ready for peace but it seemed that the Lankan President was obsessed of war with India.

It is noteworthy that Indian military contingent in the form of IPKF was deployed in northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990 to carry out peace operations in those areas which were badly hit by Tamil insurgency. The deployment took place after the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord signed between India and Sri Lanka in 1987 to end civil war between Tamil insurgent groups and Sri Lankan army.

JPN/Bureau

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