Uproar continues over Indian training of Sri Lankan Air Force
Tamil Guardian 08 July 2012
As members of the Sri Lankan Air Force have been shifted from Tamil Nadu into Bangalore air base in Karnataka, uproar over the training programme has continued with renewed demands that all Sri Lankan personnel be removed from the country.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha again slammed Delhi and called for the Sri Lankan personnel to be sent home, stating,
"Tamils want action for war crimes against Sri Lanka. We will not accept the training of Sri Lankan airmen anywhere in India."
"This is anti-Tamil and inappropriate at a time when the whole world is seeking action against Sri Lanka for violations in the war."
"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."
The Chief Minister's statement comes as members of the Naam Thamilar Katchi held a protest in front of the Tambaram air force base, chanting slogans condemning Sri Lanka. The protestors then marched to the railway station and sat along the railway tracks, demanding that India scrap the training programme.
Union shipping minister G K Vasan also joined the growing chorus of protest against the training, adding,
"It is a matter of concern, considering the cruelties faced by Tamils in Lanka."
He also noted the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president B S Gnanadesikan will lodge an official protest against the training offered to Sri Lankan personnel.
Other parties such as the MDMK and ruling constituent member DMK have also condemned the training and backed the demand for the Sri Lankan participants to be sent home.
The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) spokesperson, in an interview with Ceylon Today, said that the organisation had always stood for a political settlement for the Tamil national question and stressed that self-determination is a fundamental right for all communities.
Calling on Tamils to vote for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the upcoming parliamentary elections,
The General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara, said the new party launched by the Buddhist group would contest the general election with the main objective of representing the Sinhala community.
The United National Party (UNP) reiterated that it would not allow an international war crimes inquiry to investigate former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former army chief Sarath Fonseka.
The Sri Lankan minister for resettlement, D. M. Swaminathan, has been criticised for failing to meet directly with displaced residents of Valikamam North, during a visit to the High Security Zone on Monday.