CM in her letter to PM slams “astounding insensitivity” of Union government

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday flayed the “astounding insensitivity” of the Centre in inviting two Sri Lankan military officials for a training programme at the Defence establishment in the Nilgiris overlooking the concerns in Tamil Nadu over “continuing atrocities” on civilian Tamils in Sri Lanka.

“I strongly urge you to give suitable instructions to immediately discharge the two Sri Lankan officers from the training course at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and to send them back to Sri Lanka forthwith,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said in her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

She also wanted the Union government to issue a clear policy directive not to provide training or engage in any form of co-operation with the Sri Lankan Armed Forces until satisfactory and credible action was taken by the Sri Lankan government to stop the human rights violations against Sri Lankan Tamils and end illegal attacks on fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy.

According to the Chief Minister, the officers, Wing Commander M. S. Bandara Dassanayake and Major C. S. Harishchandra Hettiarachchige, have already reached Wellington and commenced a pre-training orientation programme on May 27.

What Ms. Jayalalithaa found most surprising was that the same day Union Defence Minister A. K. Antony was quoted in Thanjavur as stating that it had been decided not to provide training to Sri Lankan military personnel considering the sentiments of the people of the State.

The Chief Minister recalled that she had, on three previous occasions, conveyed the outrage felt by the people of Tamil Nadu at a similar move by the Government of India last year.

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