In one of her strongest protests to the Centre over the presence and training of Lankan defence officers in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has accused the UPA government of showing "utter disrespect to the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu".
Find below the full text of Jayalalithaa's letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:
"You may recall the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in June, 2011, urging the Government of India to take up with the United Nations Organisation the issue of declaring those found guilty of war crimes as war criminals, and also to initiate action by working with other Nations for the imposition of an economic embargo on the Government of Sri Lanka till the Tamils, who are now living in camps in Sri Lanka, are resettled in their own places and are allowed to live with dignity and with equal Constitutional rights on par with the Sinhalese citizens.
Tamils across the world feel that the sentiments of the Tamils have been trampled on by the Government of India not only by its inaction on this resolution, but also by continuing to give preferential treatment by way of providing technical training to defence personnel belonging to Sri Lanka.
When nine personnel belonging to the Sri Lankan Air Force were undergoing technical training at the Air Force Station, Tambaram, Tamil Nadu, I had issued a Press Statement condemning this action of the Government of India and requesting that these Sri Lankan Air Force personnel should be sent back to Sri Lanka. Instead of sending them back to Sri Lanka, the Government of India is now providing training to these personnel at the Yelahenka Air Force Station, Bengaluru.
Again, it has now come to my notice that Air Vice Marshal Jegath Julanga Diaz of the Sri Lankan Air Force and Rear Admiral S. Ranasinghe of the Sri Lankan Navy, who are undergoing training at the National Defence Academy, New Delhi, along with 25 other trainees belonging to various countries have arrived at Coonoor, The Nilgiris District, Tamil Nadu, on 15.7.2012 and are visiting the Defence Service Staff College, Wellington, on 16.7.2012 as part of their training programme. Imparting training to personnel belonging to the 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.
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.
I, therefore, request you to give suitable instructions to the Ministry of Defence to desist from giving any training to personnel belonging to the Sri Lankan Armed Forces anywhere in India and send such personnel back to Sri Lanka immediately."
Story first published:
July 16, 2012 12:30 IST