Decades ago, the majority of Tamils applied for Sri Lankan citizenship after the signing of the two agreements. Many have been repatriated to India. But now, more than 50 years later, their old fears have been revived. 9. The governments of both countries sincerely hope that the above-mentioned steps, within the planned time frame of 2 years, will significantly solve the problem of Ceylon residents of Indian origin by registering either as citizens of Ceylon or as Indian citizens. At the end of this period, and when the registrations are completed under Indian and Pakistani (citizenship) laws, the position will be reviewed to determine what further measures may be needed to address any outstanding backlog issues. Since 1964, there have been [n]eociations with India on the repatriation of stateless Tamils of Indian origin who live in the central region of tea plantations and who had been brought to the island under British colonial rule (they are different from sri Lankan Tamils living in the north and northeast). In 1985, India granted citizenship to 600,000 people, while Sri Lanka agreed to take in the remaining 469,000 citizens. In April 1989, the Sri Lankan government granted the right to vote to 320,000 of these Tamils” (1992, 2529).
5. Since there seemed to be a fundamental difference in the two countries‘ approach to the problem of the status of persons of Indian origin residing in Ceylon, it was decided that the practical course was to identify this difference and to continue as soon as possible the two registration processes as a citizen of Ceylon or as an Indian citizen.