Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had asked her British counterpart Margaret Thatcher to stop helping Sri Lanka with military advice to crush the separatist Tamil Eelam movement in the 1980s, according to newly declassified documents.
In a document relating to Sri Lanka, released by the National Archives in London under the 30-year declassification rule, a reference was apparently made to India’s suspicion in 1984 that Britain’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) was training the Sri Lankan military.
Gandhi told Thatcher: “We hope that you will use your influence to persuade (Sri Lanka’s) President (J R) Jayewardene to give a positive lead by making constructive suggestions at the All Parties Conference. Military aid and anti-insurgency assistance are not enough to overcome a political crisis which has to be faced and resolved.”
According to another document, the British government under Thatcher allowed former SAS officers to train Sri Lankan security forces against the LTTE.
The new set of documents, that will intensify speculation over SAS operations in the region, suggest that in September 1984, Peter Ricketts – private secretary to foreign secretary Geoffrey Howe – wrote to David Barclay – private secretary to then prime minister Thatcher – about a request to allow a British company with SAS connections to work in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan government under President J R Jayewardene was then tackling the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) forces and other groups in the north and east of the island nation.
Ricketts wrote: “The Sri Lankan government have engaged another British company (name removed) to provide training in counter-terrorist techniques…The presence of (the company’s) employees, including some ex-SAS personnel, in Sri Lanka, has aroused controversy and the Indian government have expressed concern to us about the firm’s involvement.
“We have made it clear that this is a purely commercial matter and that HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) are not involved.”
The firm was allowed to continue working in Sri Lanka. (PTI)
Comments - 14
Cock-a-doodle-do Friday, 24 January 2014 05:43 AM
Kamma, don't forget Lord Buddha too was an Indian....And due to mixed marriages between our ancient Kings and Indian Princesses, we Sinhalese too have Indian blood!!
Kondebendapucheena Wednesday, 22 January 2014 03:37 PM
India was pulling our legs from the birth of LTTE
Ali Wednesday, 22 January 2014 03:39 PM
End of the day her son Rajiv Ghandi had to pay for it. Act of GoD!!!
kumar Thursday, 23 January 2014 08:06 AM
Your comment is senseless. What would be the reason for calling Sri Lankans?
Kamma Thursday, 23 January 2014 08:10 AM
It is said that if you were happened to sail in a boat in which an Indian and a cobra were there, it is best to sail along with the cobra but put that Indian into the sea.
firoz Thursday, 23 January 2014 01:31 PM
there are 1 billion Indians ! It is a sad reality that we choose the black sheep to generalize and entire nation . You should apply the same to srilanka too if that is the case !
Namal Wednesday, 22 January 2014 04:55 PM
India was never honest with any of their neighbors. And India gained nothing by doing it.
muniraj16 Thursday, 23 January 2014 05:33 AM
Due to these vicious deeds, both mother and the son had to pay with their lives. It is an act of KARMA!!!!
angammana sumana Thursday, 23 January 2014 06:03 AM
The best thing is both Thatcher and Indira are in hell
prasa Thursday, 23 January 2014 04:15 AM
After all they are Indians !! That is why they are called Indians.
If you happen to work with them or in a Indian firm, this is a normal behevour.....
harbi Thursday, 23 January 2014 04:20 AM
Dr. Ashoka Bandarage in her Book" Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka wrote" The fer of Hindu Linguistic dominance in an Independent India, led to the call in 1938 for a separate Dravidian State - Dravidasthan- in South India encompassing Madras, Mysore, Kerala and Andhra( DK - Dravidian Federation) a highly Militant mass organization was established with the objective of achieving a sovereign independent Dravidian Republic. During the early 1960s the Drvidasthan movement became ' one of the most fissiparous tendencies and major threat to the Indian Union. After India adopted the draconian anti-secessionist amendment to its constitution in 1963 the South Indian secessionist movement was halted, but South Indian support for a surrogate Tamil state in north and east of Sri Lanka expanded.
lal Thursday, 23 January 2014 06:20 AM
Those who live by the sword die by the sword is an old saying. Mother and son proved that due to their scant regard for lives of Sikhs and Singhalese.
investigator Friday, 24 January 2014 10:24 AM
indira and neru are the two main destroyers of indian economy and development.she tried to destroy other countries too.
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