India should revoke offer to train Lankan naval officials: DMK
Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi today demanded that India revoke its offer to train Sri Lankan naval officials and said the act raised doubts if the Centre was going easy on some issues to retain its neutral character worldwide.
"Despite promises by the Centre to assist our demands, some have doubts whether the Centre is easy on certain issues only to retain its neutral character among countries world over," he said.
He stated this while referring to frequent media reports over training of Lankan personnel despite repeated demands by political parties in Tamil Nadu against it.
Recalling similar incidents in 2012 when the parties opposed training of Lankan personnel at Wellington in south Tamil Nadu and the personnel were sent to other states for training, he said, "Our demand is India should not train Lankan armed forces personnel anywhere in India. But the Centre is not coming forward to accept this demand, contending Sri Lanka is a friendly nation."
"If Sri Lanka is a friendly nation, is Tamil Nadu not a state in India? Don`t they have to think of the sentiments of Tamil Nadu in the first place? While India is calling Sri Lanka friendly, is that country considering India a friendly nation? Is it respecting the voice of India?" he asked.
He referred to a reported interview of Lankan minister Susil Premajayantha to BBC, responding to Finance Minister P Chidambaram`s comments on the Lankan Tamils issue.
Citing a report in an English daily today which said Premajayantha had called on External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on bilateral naval relations, he said the Centre should consider doubts of the people of Tamil Nadu and whether it considers Lankan relations more important than those with Tamil Nadu and revoke its offer.
"As a symbol, it should openly announce its decision not to train Sri Lankan officials," he added.
Indian naval chief Admiral Joshi had recently met Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo.