The DMK, a senior member of the ruling coalition at the centre, has said the Prime Minister must intervene to stop India from training defence personnel from Sri Lanka. The DMK chief, M Karunanidhi, said that the sentiments of Tamil Nadu and its people have been hurt by the Centre's stand on the issue.
Yesterday, Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju's said to 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."
Political parties in Tamil Nadu hold the Sri Lankan forces responsible for atrocities against the island's minority Tamils.
In July, after unanimous opposition by all political parties in Tamil Nadu, nine Sri Lankan air force officers who were training at the Tambaram Air force Station near Chennai were shifted by the centre across the border to the Yalahanka base in Bangalore.
"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?" Mr Karunanidhi said today in a statement released to the press in Chennai.
Mr Karunanidhi said two Sri Lankan defence personnel undergoing training at the Defence Staff Services College in Wellington in Tamil Nadu should be sent back to their country immediately.
In July, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had said, "Tamils want action for war crimes against Sri Lanka. We will not accept the training of Sri Lankan airmen anywhere in India," she said. "This is anti-Tamil and inappropriate at a time when the whole world is seeking action against Sri Lanka for violations in the war," she had added.
The alleged discrimination against Tamils in Sri Lanka by the majority Sinhalese is an emotional issue in Tamil Nadu. Last year, parties together pressured the centre to vote against Sri Lanka at a UN Human Rights session. The resolution adopted there asked Sri Lanka to extensively investigate atrocities and human rights violations in the last few months of the country's civil war in 2009.
(with inputs from Agencies)