Gandhi attacked as troops enter Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka
A Sri Lankan sailor was arrested yesterday for hitting Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi with a rifle butt just before the Indian leader left the island after signing a disputed peace pact. As Mr. Gandhi flew out, more than 3,000 of his country's troops were arriving on board a fleet of aircraft and ships to help enforce the accord, generally welcomed by the minority Tamil community but violently challenged by many of the majority Sinhalese.
The pact, signed by Gandhi and Sri Lankan President Junius Jayewardene July 29, calls for a cease-fire beginning today and an amnesty for Tamils who have been fighting for autonomy. The pact was not signed by any Tamil representatives. Gandhi, who was not seriously hurt in yesterday's assault, received a hero's welcome on his return home.
There were violent demonstrations Tuesday and Wednesday to protest the accord, which Sinhalese groups contend makes too many concessions to the rebels. Some 40 people have died in the rioting. There were scattered reports of protests yesterday but no large demonstrations.
India's ambassador to Sri Lanka, said that 3,000 troops arrived in Jaffna, adding, ``More are coming.'' But a Sri Lankan official said, ``I think 3,000 Indian troops will be the limit.''