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Cablegate: Indian Payoff to Ltte Revealed

O 051045Z APR 88
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7892
INFO AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY
AMCONSUL MADRAS PRIORITY

UNCLAS COLOMBO 02367

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE

E.O. 12356; N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS IN CE
SUBJECT: INDIAN PAYOFF TO LTTE REVEALED

REF: COLOMBO 1755

1. MAJOR SRI LANKAN PAPERS APRIL 5 HAVE HEADLINED
A REPORT (FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE APRIL 3 LONDON
OBSERVER) WHICH QUOTES BOTH INDIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER
J.N. DIXIT AND AN LTTE SPOKESMAN IN MADRAS THAT
INDIAN PRIME MINISTER GANDHI AGREED IN LATE JULY TO
PAY THE LIBERATION TIGERS OF TAMIL EELAM A MONTHLY
STIPEND TO COMPENSATE FOR LOST TAX REVENUES
FOLLOWING THE SIGNING OF THE INDO-SRI LANKAN ACCORD.
THE MONTHLY PAYMENT, REPORTS SAY, WAS TO HAVE BEEN
FIVE MILLION INDIAN RUPEES (OR NEARLY $400,000).
AN INDIAN HICOMM OFFICER HAS CONFIRMED THAT SOME
MONEY WAS GIVEN THE TIGERS IN LATE JULY. APPARENTLY
ONLY ONE PAYMENT WAS MADE BEFORE THE LTTE RENEGED
ON ITS PLEDGE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INTERIM
ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL IN LATE SEPTEMBER AND THE
DEAL FELL THROUGH.

2. AN UNNAMED LTTE SPOKESMAN IN MADRAS IS QUOTED AS
SAYING THAT THE PAYMENT WAS PART OF A LARGER SECRET
PACKAGE OF GUARANTEES WHICH GANDHI OFFERED LTTE
LEADER V. PRABHAKARAN IN JULY TO GET HIM TO AGREE
TO THE BILATERAL ACCORD. OTHER PARTS OF THE PACKAGE,
ACCORDING TO THIS REPORT, INCLUDED:
-
-- AN ASSURANCE THAT THE LTTE WOULD FORM A MAJORITY
- OF THE INTERIM PROVINCIAL COUNCIL FOR THE NORTH
- AND EAST. (COMMENT: THE LTTE WAS GIVEN SEVEN
- OF THE TWELVE SEATS IN A DEAL WHICH WAS ANNOUNCED
- AND FELL THROUGH THE SAME DAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1987.)
-
-- ONE BILLION INDIAN RUPEES FOR REHABILITATION OF THE
- JAFFNA PENINSULA WHICH APPARENTLY WAS TO BE
- FUNNELED THROUGH AN LTTE-DOMINATED INTERIM
- ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL (COMMENT: THIS APPEARS TO
- BE IN ADDITION TO THE AID WHICH INDIA PLEDGED
- PUBLICLY AT THE DECEMBER CONSORTIUM MEETING IN
- PARIS. AT THAT MEETING, THE GOI OFFERED US $40
- MILLION (ABOUT 520 MILLION INDIAN RUPEES) FOR
- REHABILITATION WORK IN THE NORTH AND EAST.)
-
-- HELP, AFTER AN INTERIM ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL
- WAS IN PLACE, IN SETTING UP A TAMIL POLICE FORCE.
-
3. EMBASSY COMMENT: LEFT UNSAID IS ANY INDICATION
WHETHER THE PACKAGE SUGGESTED ABOVE IS STILL ON THE
TABLE IN THE GOI-LTTE TALKS WHICH APPARENTLY HAVE BEEN
GOING ON FOR SOME TIME. ACCORDING TO JOHN RETTIE,
THE LOCAL BBC CORRESPONDENT, TALKS BETWEEN THE TIGERS
AND THE GOI BEGAN IN LATE FEBRUARY IN MADRAS. THEY
WERE BROKEN OFF RECENTLY, HE SAID, BUT ARE DUE TO
BEGIN AGAIN NEXT WEEK. END COMMENT.

SPAIN

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