TN parties fume on Centre's stand on training SL military
Chennai: Speaking in unison, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, key UPA ally DMK and other parties in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday condemned the Centre's stand on continued training of Sri Lankan military, with AIADMK chief castigating government for "insensitivity" and DMK accusing it of hurting Tamils.
Conveying her displeasure to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a strongly worded letter, Jayalalithaa recalled her last week's plea, demanding that Sri Lankan military personnel undergoing training at Defence Services College in Wellington in the state be sent back to their country.
"Instead of acceding to my request, I am surprised to learn that the Government of India has openly declared that the said training will go on since Sri Lanka is a friendly country. This betrays the total insensitivity on the part of the Government of India towards the views of my Government as well as the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu," she said.
The Chief Minister reiterated that New Delhi should give up such a "condemnable attitude" and show more consideration and regard for the sentiments of the people of the state by sending the personnel back to Sri Lanka immediately.
Jayalalithaa's arch rival DMK chief M Karunanidhi was also almost on the same page, charging the Centre with hurting the sentiments of Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu political leaders' sharp reaction came a day after Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju said the training to Sri Lankan defence forces would go on.
"Sri Lanka is a friendly foreign country and training will go on. Sometimes there are objections by local governments which we have to take into consideration," he had said.
Karunanidhi said "It can be construed that the Centre is hurting the sentiments of Tamil Nadu and its people by this reply (by Raju)."
Karunanidhi said after the 2009 war (against LTTE), Sri
Lanka was considering China and Pakistan as friendly nations rather than India and referred to the extensive aid being given by China, besides scheduled ministerial level visits.
"How can India say Sri Lanka is a friendly country when China is giving six times more help to it than India. It can be termed as one-sided and how can it be considered as cordial?", he asked.
Seeking Singh's intervention on Raju's remarks, he also demanded that the Lankan military personnel being trained in Tamil Nadu be sent back and there should henceforth be no training for the island defence personnel.
MDMK founder Vaiko described Raju's statement as "atrocious" and said "it reflects the views of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi."
Accusing the UPA government of helping Colombo in the last leg of the war between the Sri Lankan armed forces and LTTE,he told reporters the Centre "should not play with fire," and warned that violent protests may erupt in Tamil Nadu and "the country's unity will be jeopardised."
PMK chief Dr S Ramadoss also slammed Raju for his statement.