Bowing to the political pressures exerted by the AIADMK government and the major opposition party DMK, the central government has decided to send back the Sri Lanka Air Force personnel who had come for training here.
“All Sri Lankan trainees are being sent off today (Friday) as per instruction of the ministry of defence,” said a media statement issued by the government here Friday.
Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi Thursday demanded the immediate expulsion of Sri Lanka Air Force personnel being trained near here in Tamil Nadu.
Jayalaltihaa had said this training was being given at a time when the Tamil Nadu assembly passed a resolution that India and other countries should impose economic sanctions against Colombo for committing war crimes.
“When the international community is raising its voice that India should urge Sri Lanka to accord equal rights to Tamils, the news of Sri Lanka Air Force personnel (coming) for nine months training at the Tambaram air force station (near here) is like piercing (our) heart with a spear,” she had said.
She said the training and that too in Tamil Nadu “is not only inappropriate but also anti-Tamil”.
Former chief minister Karunanidhi also condemned the training and demanded the trainees to be sent back.
Tamil parties have accused the Sri Lankan military of committing atrocities on Tamil civilians during the final stages of the war against the separatist Tamil Tigers that ended in May 2009.