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 UN Human Rights Committee’s concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of Sri Lanka, released on Thursday, outlined several concerns on the state of freedom of expression and participation in the political process,
A Sri Lankan court sentenced five Tamil Nadu fishermen to death on Thursday on drug trafficking charges.
The Indian government is to appeal the judgement, through legal channels as well as political channels, reports the Hindustan Times.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it was ready to assist in the rescue operation following a landslide in the Upcountry on Wednesday, which is believed to have left hundreds dead.
The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma called for a reduction of the Sri Lankan military;s role in the Northern Province, saying this was important to address Tamil people’s legitimate concerns.