Members of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Naam Thamizhar Iyakkam staged a demonstration outside the Indian Air Force (IAF) Station in Tambaram on Thursday, protesting the training imparted to Sri Lankan air force personnel.

The protest followed a statement issued by Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa earlier in the day, objecting to the Ministry of Defence allowing Sri Lankan air force personnel to be trained here. The activists were taken into custody and later released.

Officers from the IAF were taken aback by the turnout of a number of reporters and photographers near their premises.

Officers said they could not comment on the issue. However, one officer, contacted on phone, said no one from Sri Lanka was currently receiving training at Tambaram.

Selaiyur police said that generally, any foreigner staying for a long period in the city had to affix his signature at the nearest police station, but this had not been done in the recent past by any Sri Lankan national.

In February 2009, towards the end of the war between Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Centre ordered the return of 8 Sri Lankan airmen who had come to the Tambaram IAF station for training and had completed it. .

The IAF station in Tambaram provides training to the air forces of other friendly countries, in addition to Sri Lanka, on par with airmen trainees from India.

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