In the wake of sharp attack from Tamil Nadu parties, including United Progressive Alliance constituent Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which have accused it of being soft on alleged human rights violations against Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Union government on Monday called off the annual defence dialogue with Colombo, scheduled to begin from March 23.

Official sources gave no reason for putting off the three-day talks, but added that scheduling of dates would have to be done afresh.

“The annual defence dialogue is not taking place for the time being, we will have to work out new dates for it and then schedule it,” they said.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said requests for defence assistance are received from time to time from foreign countries, including Sri Lanka.

“Such requests are considered keeping in view all aspects of national interests. Further details cannot be divulged in view of the security implications involved,” he said.

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