Subjects

Assignment Colombo

J.N. Dixit, Konark, 1998, 393 p, photographs, ISBN : 8122004997, $26.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Preface. Introduction. 1. Appointment to Colombo. 2. India gets drawn in. 3. Stillborn mediations. 4. Mediation efforts, 1985. 5. Disappointment about developments. 6. Prologue to 1987. 7. Negotiating the agreement--events. 8. Birthpangs of accord. 9. Signing of the agreement--the tense theatrics. 10. Anatomy of accord. 11. The sabotage begins. 12. Costly 'operation'. 13. 1988--India's dichotomies and Sri Lankan dilemmas. 14. 1988--initiating the political processes. 15. Parallel criticalities affecting Indo-Sri Lanka relations. 16. November 1988 to 9th April, 1989--conclusion of the assignment. 17. The setting aside of the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement. 18. Dramatis personae--an overview. 19. Rights and wrongs--why did India fail?. Annexures: 1. Farewell letter from Gamini Dissanayake, M.P., P.C., Minister of Plantation Industries to J.N. Dixit. 2. Text of the Indo-Sri Lanka accord of July 19, 1987. 3. Letters exchanged between Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President Jayewardene on matters of Bilateral interest. 4. The draft of Indo-Sri Lanka friendship treaty suggested by President Premadasa to replace the Indo-Sri Lanka accord in March 1989. 5. Proposals for devolution of powers almost finalised at the all-party conference towards the end of its deliberations in 1984 and known as annexure C. 6. List of 37 Tamil political and militant groups active at one point or the other between 1977-78 and 1989. 7. Texts of letters exchanged between Premadasa and Rajiv Gandhi. 8. The Tamil Nadu--LTTE connection continues. Index.

"Indian "interference" or involvement in Sri Lanka between 1983 and 1990 has been generally criticised as "an act of unwarranted intrusion" into a small neighbouring country by India, as a first step aimed at imposing India's "hegemony" on South Asia, an Indian initiative which was based on erroneous political judgement; as "a Vietnam" for the Indian Army', and as a "failure" of India's foreign policy and diplomacy." Ten years have passed since the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement on July 29, 1987, and seven years since the withdrawal of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in March 1990. There have been changes in governments both in India and Sri Lanka, leading to changes in the policies of both countries.

"Despite various attempts made by the successors of President Jayewardene, Premadasa and Kumaratunga, to forge a political solution to the Tamil ethnic problem or to militarily overcome the LTTE, the civil war in Sri Lanka continues. Tamil-Sinhala antagonism remains unresolved.

"J.N. Dixtt, former Foreign Secretary was India's High Commissioner in Sri Lanka from 1985 to 1989. He was an active participant in events leading to the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement and induction of the IPKF into Sri Lanka. This book is an attempt to put matters in perspective in the context of India's motivation which remain misunderstood.

"The author feels that the peoples of India and Sri Lanka have a right to know the details regarding the critical events during the years of his assignment in Colombo." (jacket)

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