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Now TN parties want India to stop training Lankan navy

December 03, 2013 16:20 IST

After stepping up attacks on the Union government over India's participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka last month, chorus is mounting in Tamil Nadu among opposition parties over the country's offer to train Sri Lankan Naval personnel.

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and arch rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President M Karunanidhi have voiced strong protests over India's offer to train Sri Lankan navy personnel.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently, Jayalalithaa had expressed her strong protest over India's offer to train Sri Lankan Naval officials.

"I wish to convey our strong protest against this insensitive policy of defence co-operation with Sri Lanka, which totally ignores the impact it may have upon the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu," she had said.

Jayalalithaa was referring to the offer of a four-year Bachelor of Technology course made by Indian Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi when he called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo on November 29.

The chief minister's strong remarks came in the backdrop of frequent attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen and their boats by Sri Lankan Navy. Currently, several fishermen are languishing in jails in the island nation.

Jayalalithaa had also demanded that training of Sri Lankan defence personnel in India be stopped.

Recalling her earlier letters to Singh opposing training to Sri Lankan defence personnel in India, she had urged him to urgently review the policy and instruct the defence ministry not to pursue the proposed training programme.

Karunanidhi made a similar pitch, demanding that the Centre revoke its offer to Sri Lanka to train its naval officers.

"Despite promises by the Centre to assist our demands, some have doubts if the Centre is going easy on certain issues just to retain its neutral character among countries worldwide," he told media persons at his residence in Chennai on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, reports said a team representing the Tamil Nadu fishermen community had also called on the Union government, seeking immediate action from India over constant attacks on them by Sri Lankan navy.

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