Chennai, 17 July 2012. Tamil Nadu Chief minister J. Jayalalithaa on Monday reiterated that India should stop training Sri Lankan military personnel and slammed the Centre for its ‘callous and adamant’ attitude in continuing to entertain the Lankans despite strong Tamil sentiments.
Objecting to the latest instance of two Lankan defence personnel arriving at the Defence Staff College in Wellington, near Coonoor, she shot off a strongly worded letter to PM Manmohan Singh, her third letter in recent days on the issue.
“The people of Tamil Nadu are frustrated and outraged by this callous and adamant attitude of the government of India in persistently giving training to personnel belonging to the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in India,” she told the PM.
Joining the chorus, Karunanidhi said, “It is unacceptable that at a time when the Lankan army is accused of killing Tamils, they get training in India. The Centre should desist from repeatedly doing such acts to hurt the sentiments of Tamils.”
Only a few days ago, the defence ministry shifted eight Sri Lankan airmen training at the IAF base in Tambaram to Bengaluru after protests from TN political parties. Jayalalithaa has insisted that the airmen should not receive training anywhere in India and must be sent back to the island, a demand echoed by all the other political leaders in the state.
Union minister of state V. Narayanaswamy had said that the Lankans were being given training in Indian defence facilities ‘as part of the Saarc agreement’ but CPI leader C. Mahendran was quick to point out that the Saarc agreement was only aimed at regional cooperation in education, cultural exchange, trade, and so on, but not in the field of defence.