NID: SRI LANKA-INDIA: REFUGEES RAISE SECURITY FEARS

Created: 2/21/1985

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SRI LANKA-IKDIA; Rofugeet Raioe Security Fears

Moreamil refugees from northern Sri Lanka have arrived in lha south Indian State ot Tamil Nadu over the lest three weeks, raising Naw Delhi's concern that soma effects of the growing Insurgency will spread to Indie.

The Indian Foreign Secretary claims Sri Lankan naval vessels have fired on the (leeing refugees and Indian fishermen in the narrow Palk Strait, killing two Indians. Colombo's Foreign Minister says the boats were carrying arms and insurgents to support ihe Tamil separatist movement and that Sri Lanka will continue to patrol its northern waters aggressively.

forts by Sri Lankan Tamil insurgents In southern India to make the refugees* plight en international issue are placing strong pressure on New Delhi.

Comment: Relations between Colombo and New Delhi warmed somewhat following last week's meeting of Sri Lanka's Security Minister and Indian Prime Minister Gandhi. Colombo's denial of involvement in lhe death ol the two lishermen and continued attacks on Tamil civilians, however, suggest its sensitivity lo Indian concerns has not improved MMM

it refugee (lows remain high. Gandhi will face increasing demands from Tamil Nadu Stale to assure the ealety ot Indian fishermen and Sri Lanka's Tamil civilians.

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