DMK reiterates oppn to training of Lankan defence personnel



Chennai: Key UPA constituent DMK on Saturday reiterated its opposition to India imparting training to Sri Lankan defence personnel on its soil, saying the state is also part of the country.

"According to information I received, (they )-the Centre - said (they) won't give them training in Tamil Nadu and it will be done somewhere else. I say, Tamil Nadu is also India," DMK chief M Karunanidhi told reporters when asked about the matter.

He recalled his party's earlier opposition to this issue.

Political parties in Tamil Nadu, including AIADMK and DMK, have strongly opposed training of Sri Lankan Defence personnel in the state, following which officers undergoing training at an Air Force Station here and at a military academy in Udhagamandalam were shifted elsewhere.

The Centre had reiterated that it would continue to train defence personnel from Sri Lanka in Indian military establishments as it is a friendly nation.

Colombo too had recently asserted it is very firm on continuing the training programme of its defence personnel in India and ruled out sending them to countries like China.

Karunanidhi, who had recently revived the Tamil Eelam Supporters' Organisation (TESO) and held its conference here in August, said his party colleagues, son and DMK Treasurer M K Stalin and TR Baalu, MP, had handed over the resolutions adopted there with the United Nations.

Calling for rehabilitation and welfare of Tamils affected in the island nation, he said TESO did not resolve for a separate nation, but had called for a referendum and "we strongly believe," that will benefit them.

This had been stressed in the memorandum to UN, he said.

On demanding UN's role in the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, he said this was not the first time DMK had sought intervention of the international body and had done it in 1961 and 1985.

"We are ok with any amendment that will ensure what the Tamil people seek," he said responding to a change in TESO's stand opposing the 13th amendment of the Indo-Lanka accord in the 1980s.

On political parties coming under the ambit of Right to Information act, he said DMK would discuss the issue "at the appropriate time."

PTI