the proposed programme to train 25 Sri Lankan soldiers at the Defence Service Staff College at Wellington in nearby Nilgiris district has been cancelled.

Following protests from pro-Tamil organisations, a proposed programme to train 25 Sri Lankan soldiers at the Defence Service Staff College at Wellington in nearby Nilgiris district has been cancelled, officials said on Saturday.

The Lankan soldiers, who reached the college on Friday for the month-long training, were sent back following the protests, they said. The soldiers were sent in a bus to Chennai from where they would return to Sri Lanka, the officials added.

Over 200 activists of various pro-Sri Lankan Tamil organisations had staged a demonstration in front of the Madras Regimental Centre (MRC) at Wellington protesting the training programme. The protesters included members of Periyar Dravida Kazhagam, Naam Tamizhar Party and Viduthualai Chiruthaigal Katchi.

They alleged that Tamils in Sri Lanka were suffering at the hands of that country’s Army and the decision to provide training to the island nation’s soldiers in Tamil Nadu was condemnable.