NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi said last week that the 45,000 Indian troops in Sri Lanka would not withdraw immediately despite Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa's request for a July 31 pullout. Mr. Gandhi told reporters that a withdrawal of the troops depended upon ``full implementation of the July 1987 peace accord'' to end an insurgency by Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority. The accord extended limited administrative powers to the Tamil minority in the country's northeast for a surrender of arms. The Tamils were not a party to the agreement and the largest guerrilla group has kept fighting.
India has said in official statements that Mr. Premadasa's deadline was impossible to meet.