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DMK, DMDK oppose training of Sri Lankan defence personnel

August 27, 2012 18:35 IST

Criticising the United Progressive Alliance government for continuing to allow training of Sri Lankan defence personnel in the country despite opposition to it in Tamil Nadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazha, a key ally of the ruling front, on Monday said India should immediately stop such exercises.

The Centre was adopting the same approach on the training issue as in the case of recurring attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Naval personnel, DMK chief M Karunanidhi told reporters.

"Sri Lankan defence personnel are sent to some other states whenever we protest but are allowed to continue training after some days," he said apparently referring to recent shifting of some Sri Lankan Airforce personnel from IAF's base near here to Bangalore.

He recalled that the recently-held Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) conference, a pro-Sri Lankan Tamils outfit founded by him, had adopted a resolution insisting Sri Lankan defence personnel should not be given training in any part of the country.

He said DMK MPs had also handed over a copy of the resolution to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"Despite these efforts, the training programme is happening. The Centre should not continue this attitude and take up strongly the issue along with attack on Indian fishermen with Sri Lanka", he said.

Karunanidhi's demand comes two days after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa shot off a strongly-worded letter to the prime minister opposing the training given to two Sri Lankan defence personnel in the Defence Service Staff College at Wellington in Nilgiris district, saying the Centre's attitude on the issue was "reprehensible".

Political parties in Tamil Nadu have been opposing imparting of training to Sri Lankan personnel saying it hurt the sentiments of Tamils in view of war crime charges against the island forces during the final battle against

Meanwhile, About 88 activists of Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam and Naam Tamilar Katchi and 30 law college students were arrested on Monday when they tried to stage a picketing against training of Sri Lankan personnel at Defence Staff Service College (DSSC), police said.

The 63 DMDK activists tried to forcibly enter Madras Regiment Centre at nearby Wellington where DSSC is located, after which they were arrested, while Naam Tamilar Katchi workers were held after they staged a protest in the area and shouted slogans against the Centre and Sri Lankan governments.

The students of Government law college were arrested after they tried to barge into the Income tax building where they were staging a protest, police said.

A tight security blanket was thrown in and around DSSC with local police and armed military personnel posted in large numbers.

The protests come two days after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa shot off a strongly-worded letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accusing the Centre of showing "excessive enthusiasm" in training Lankan defence personnel and demanded that the two officers undergoing training since May be sent back.

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