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 chief minister of the northern province told delegates of the World Bank during their visit to Jaffna on Friday that the Sri Lankan government was ignoring Tamil demands for decentralisation of powers.
The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement on Saturday commemorating the anniversary of Black July alongside "Canadians of Tamil descent" and the "Tamil community around the world".
The Northern Provincial Council this week rejected the Colombo appointment resettlement task force, stating that the committee was only focused on the resettlement of the Sinhala and Muslim people into the North.
Whilst the human rights situation in Sri Lanka has improved, “much remains to be done” said the United Kingdom in a country update report, highlighting the challenges faced in the Tamil North-East.