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Dudley Senanayake - Chelvanayagam Agreement 1965

Agreement entered into between Mr. Dudley Senanayake, Prime Minister of Ceylon (and leader of the United National Party) and Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, leader of the Thamil Arasu Katchi (Federal Party) on the 24th March 1965.

On the basis of this Agreement, the Federal Party extended support to the United Natioanl Party to form the Government and the Federal Party nominee, Mr.M.Thiruchelvam was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of Local Government.

However, the Agreement was not given effect to by the Dudley Senanayake Government and this led to the withdrawal of the Federal Party from the Cabinet in 1968

Mr. Dudley Senanayake and Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayagam met on 24-3-65 and discussed matters relating to some problems over which the Tamil speaking people were concerned, and Mr. Senanayake agreed that action on the following lines would be taken by him to ensure a stable Government:

1. Action will be taken early under the Tamil Language Special Provisions Act to make provision for the Tamil language to be the language of administration and of record in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

2. Mr.Senanayake also explained that it was the policy of his Party that a Tamil speaking person should be entitled to transact business in Tamil throughout the Island.

Mr.Senanayake stated that it was the policy of his Party to amend the Language of the Courts Act to provide for legal proceedings in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to be conducted and recorded in Tamil.

3. Action will be taken to establish District Councils in Ceylon vested with powers to be mutually agreed upon between the two leaders. It was agreed, however, that the Government should have power under the law to give directions to such Councils in the national interest.

4. The Land Development Ordinance will be amended to provide that all citizens of Ceylon shall be entitled to the allotment of land under the Ordinance. Mr. Senanayake further agreed that in the granting of land under colonisation schemes the following priorities will be observed in the Northern and Eastern Provinces:

(8) Land in the Northern and Eastern Provinces should in the first instance be granted to landless persons in the District;

(b) Secondly - to Tamil speaking persons resident in the Northern and Eastern Provinces; and

(c) Thirdly - to other citizens in Ceylon. Preference being given to Tamil citizens resident in the rest of the Island.

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Dudley Senanayake S.J.V. Chelvanayagam