TN parties miffed at minister's remark on training to Lankan forces

Different political parties in Tamil Nadu including the AIADMK and the DMK on Tuesday slammed the Union Minister of State for Defence, Pallam Raju’s remarks in Delhi that India would continue to train defence personnel from Sri Lanka in country’s military training institutions as the latter is a “friendly country”.

“This shows 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,” AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.

The Centre should give up this “condemnable attitude” and send back the Lankan military personnel being trained here, she reiterated.

Disputing Raju’s contention that Sri Lanka was a “friendly nation”, DMK patriarch Karunanidhi asked how the Centre’s assessment continued to be valid as Sri Lanka considered China and Pakistan to be “friendlier” to it.

Further, China is now implementing 14 development projects in Sri Lanka worth Rs 36,000
crore, the DMK leader said, urging the prime minister to intervene and ensure that the minister reconsiders his views on this issue.

The Centre “is deeply hurting Tamil people’s sentiments,” Karunanidhi added in a statement
here. Meanwhile, MDMK leader Vaiko and PMK chief S Ramadoss also condemned Pallam Raju’s statement, charging the Centre with not respecting the sentiments of the Tamil Nadu people on such a sensitive issue.

Political leaders from the CPI and CPM hoped the Centre would stop training of Lankan Military men within India for good.

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