Karuna urges PM to stop Lankan training

Last Updated: Tue, Aug 28, 2012 12:23 hrs

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) supremo M Karunanidhi on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene and stop training of Sri Lankan defence personnel by India.

Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju on Monday told reporters: "Sri Lanka is a friendly foreign country and the training will go on. Sometimes there are objections raised by local governments which we have to be taken into consideration."

Reacting to the comment made by Raju, Karunanidhi said the sentiments of people staying in Tamil Nadu were hurt by the stand of the Centre on the matter.

"How can India say Sri Lanka is a friendly country when China is giving six times more help to Sri Lanka than India? It can be termed as one-sided and how can it be considered as cordial?" Karunanidhi said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the PM must intervene and immediately stop training to Lankan personnel.

Pertinently, the DMK is a key ally to the Centre.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday wrote to Singh opposing the training given to two Sri Lankan officers in the south Indian state since May.

She also demanded the PM to send back the officers from the neighbouring nation.

"It is very clear that this fact of ongoing training since May 2012 has been mischievously concealed from my government, showing scant regard for the views of my government as well as for the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu," Jayalalithaa wrote in her letter.

She urged Singh to direct the Defence Ministry to stop the training given to the two Sri Lankan defence personnel immediately and send them back to the island nation.

Jayalalithaa earlier this year urged the central government to take proper measures and send back the Sri Lankan Air Force personnel, who were undertaking training at an Indian Air Force (IAF) base located near Chennai.

She condemned the entire move and said it was against Tamils.

"At a time when there are voices demanding equal status for Tamils in Sri Lanka, reports about Sri Lankan Air Force personnel receiving training at the Tambaram Air Force Station near Chennai was something against the Tamils," Jayalalithaa said in a statement.

"I strongly condemn this," she said.

She said giving training to Sri Lankan Air Force personnel was against Tamils when there were strong demands from different corners to give equal status to Tamils living in Sri Lanka.

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