Chennai: Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and former chief minister M. Karunanidhi on Monday asked the central government to send back all Sri Lankan military personnel training in India and accused the central government of not respecting Tamil sentiments.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa said the central government was showing "utter disrespect" to the sentiments of the Tamils by training Sri Lankan defence personnel and allowing them to visit Tamil Nadu.
"Imparting training to Sri Lankan armed forces in defence training institutions in India and allowing them to visit Tamil Nadu reveals the utter disrespect shown to the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu."
She urged Manmohan Singh to instruct the defence ministry to desist from giving any training to Sri Lankan armed forces anywhere in India and send them back immediately.
Two Sri Lankan officers along with 25 others from various countries are in Coonoor in Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu. They will be visiting the Defence Service Staff College at Wellington, 520 km from here.
The group is undergoing training at the National Defence Academy in New Delhi.
Jayalalithaa said: "The people of Tamil Nadu are frustrated and outraged by this callous and adamant attitude of the government in persistently giving training to personnel belonging to the Sri Lankan armed forces in India."
Jayalalithaa recalled the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu assembly in June last year, urging India to take up with the UN the issue of declaring those guilty of war crimes in Sri Lanka as "war criminals"
The resolution had also sought an economic embargo on Sri Lanka till all Tamils living in refugee camps were resettled and given equal rights on par with the Sinhalese citizens.
Karunanidhi said that at a time when the Sri Lankan Army was "attacking Eelam Tamils", training them in India was unacceptable.
He asked the central government to take steps to send them back.
"Further, the centre should not indulge in such activities and hurt Tamil hearts," he said.