Send back Lankan defence officers training in Tamil Nadu: Jayalalithaa

Chennai, June 9 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has strongly urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to instruct officials to send back two Sri Lankan defence officers undergoing training in Tamil Nadu.

She also urged him to take a policy decision that Lankan armed personnel will not be trained in India till a satisfactory resolution of human rights violations against the Tamils in Sri Lanka is arrived at, and illegal attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy on Indian fishermen stop.

In a letter to Manmohan Singh Saturday, the text of which was released to the media here Sunday, Jayalalithaa charged the centre with being utterly insensitive to the feelings of the people Tamil Nadu by inviting Lankan defence officials for training.

She said: “I strongly urge you to give suitable instructions to immediately discharge the two Sri Lankan officers from the training course at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and to send them back to Sri Lanka forthwith.”

She added: “In addition, the Government of India should issue a clear policy directive not to provide training or to engage in any form of co-operation with the Sri Lankan Armed Forces until satisfactory and credible action is taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to completely stop the human rights violations against the Tamil population in Sri Lanka and to stop illegal attacks on fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu.”

Jayalalithaa expressed surprise that on May 27, when the union Defence Minister A.K. Anthony declared that the centre has decided not to train Lankan military personnel in Tamil Nadu in response to the sentiments expressed by the people here, the two Lankan officers commenced their pre-training activities at Wellington in Nilgiri district.

“I am amazed that the union defence minister was unaware that his policy announcement was being flouted by his own ministry. This is a very sorry commentary on the Government of India’s ambivalence and ad-hocism on a serious and emotive issue that affects the people of Tamil Nadu,” Jayalalithaa said.

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