Vasan to take up SL def personnel training issue

Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan said the state party unit was against imparting training to Sri Lankan Defence personnel.

Chennai: Union Shipping Minister and Congress leader G K Vasan today said the state party unit was against imparting training to Sri Lankan Defence personnel and he would soon take up the issue with Defence Minister A K Antony.

"All political parties in Tamil Nadu have stated similar views on the issue. That is the same also with the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee. We will urge the Centre to send back the (Sri Lankan) personnel. In future, TNCC would take a strong step so that this kind of situation does not reccur," he told reporters here.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and DMK President M Karunanidhi, a key ally of the UPA, have strongly objected to the training of Sri Lankan defence personnel in India, saying it hurt the sentiments of people of the state in view of the war crime charges faced by the island government.

"Our demand is that those who are being trained should be sent back (to Sri Lanka). There is no second thought about it. We are firm in our decision. Soon after I reach Delhi, I will have a detailed interaction with the Defence Minister about this matter. We will take it up, so that there is a solution to this issue soon," Vasan said.

On BJP stalling Parliament prooceedings over coal blocks allocation issue, he said, "the only objective of the BJP was to stall the proceedings of Parliament" and such action would "impair" the country`s growth.

"It is against people. There are several Bills and official matters pending to be cleared in Parliament," he said, appealing the BJP to cooperate for the functioning of Parliament.

He also criticised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s comments on women in the context of malnutrition, saying "A responsible Chief Minister should not have commented like this. No one in this country will accept his remark."
Modi had recently said in an interview to Wall Street Journal that "Gujarat is ...A middle class state. The middle class is more beauty conscious than health conscious...That is a challenge. If a mother tells her daughter to have milk they have a fight. She will tell her mother `I wont drink milk, I will get fat`."