Jaya asks Centre to cancel training prog to SL Air Force men

Written by: Pti
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Chennai, Jul 5: Taking objection to the training being imparted to Sri Lankan Air Force personnel at an Indian Air Force base near Chennai, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalaithaa on Thursday urged the Centre to immediately cancel the programme and send back the personnel to the island nation.

"At a time when there are voices demanding equal status for Tamils in Sri Lanka, reports about Sri Lankan Air Force personnel receiving training at the Tambaram Air Force Station near here was something against the Tamils. I strongly condemn this," she said in a statement. She slammed the Centre for remaining "silent" on a resolution moved by the state assembly calling for economic sanctions against Sri Lanka besides demanding equal status for Tamils in that country and said "it is an insult for the Tamil people that the Centre is imparting military training to the Air Force personnel from Sri Lanka".

"While there are demands for sanction against those charged of war crimes, the fact that the Sri Lankan Air Force personnel are being trained in India is not only improper, but also against interests of Tamil people. This (the nine-month training for nine personnel) should be withdrawn and they should be sent back to the island nation", she insisted.

Meanwhile, ruling UPA partner DMK, and MDMK also echoed similar views.

"If reports (in this regard) are true, it is condemnable. It would be appropriate that the Centre send back those who had come for training (the Sri Lankan Airforce personnel)," DMK chief M Karunanidhi told reporters.

MDMK founder Vaiko alleged India's military support in Colombo's war against the LTTE and said it was "atrocious" that the military personnel were being trained in Tamil Nadu. They should not only be asked to return home but should not be imparted training in any part of India, he said, and warned of a protest outside the IAF base at Tambaram if the Centre did not heed his demand.


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