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SL men training in India: Jaya, Karuna attack Centre

Last updated on: July 16, 2012 18:02 IST

Political parties in Tamil Nadu today raised the pitch against the government imparting training to Sri Lankan military personnel with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa terming the move as "callous and adamant" and UPA ally DMK asking the Centre not to hurt Tamil sentiments.

Jayalalithaa and her bitter rival DMK President M Karunanidhi and other parties kicked up a storm objecting to the presence of two Sri Lankan defence personnel at the Defence Service Staff College in Wellington, Coonoor in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiri district.

The AIADMK supremo shot off a strongly-worded letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stating that the people of the state were "frustrated and outraged" with the Centre over its persistence to train the Sri Lankan personnel.

"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 said in her third letter in recent days on the issue of training Lankan defence personnel.

Joining the chorus, Karunanidhi said "It is unacceptable that at a time when the Lankan Armed Forces are (accused of) attacking the Tamils, it is not proper for them to be trained in India. The Centre should desist from repeatedly doing such acts and thereby not hurt the sentiments of Tamils."

The issue comes barely days after the Centre shifted eight Sri Lankan airmen, who were undergoing training at the IAF base in Chennai, to Bangalore after protests from Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi and parties, including Vaiko-led MDMK.

Not satisfied with the shifting of the airmen, Jayalalithaa had been insisting that Sri Lankan Armed Forces personnel should not be trained anywhere in India, a view all other parties have also echoed.

Karunanidhi said it was not proper on the part of the Indian government to train the Lankan forces in India. But he added that the Centre was acting, apparently referring to the shifting of the SLAF personnel to Bangalore.

Vaiko slammed the "arrogant attitude" of the Centre in training the Sri Lankan Armed Forces personnel, whom he charged with killing innocent civilians during the conflict with LTTE.

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