Indian Minister Says Sending IPKF To Sri Lanka Was 'High Level Policy Failure'

Indian Union Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd) V K Singh said in Raipur on Tuesday that the decision to send the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka in 1987 was "a high level policy failure", PTI reported.

"The decision to deploy the IPKF in Sri Lanka was a high-level policy failure," the former Army chief said at an event to discuss his autobiography titled 'Courage and Conviction' here. "It was a policy failure that the Government of India and Sri Lanka had entered into an agreement, while the fight was between Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan government. Neither there was control over the LTTE nor did they owe any responsibility," he said.

"It was a policy failure and it was due to several reasons. You (Indian Army) went there for peace keeping but got entangled in the war," he said. The Union Minister claimed that during IPKF operations in Sri Lanka, Indian forces got several opportunities to nab LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran but every time there were "instructions", which ensured him a safe passage.

In another revelation, Singh also claimed that at one point, none other than late Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa had sought to help the LTTE fight the IPKF.

(With inputs from PTI)

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