A day after a spate of protests led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa against training being imparted to Sri Lankan Air Force personnel at the Tambaram station near here, the Union government on Friday announced that all the trainees were “being sent off” from the station.
Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs said the Sri Lankan airmen were being shifted to a training centre outside the State on completion of their course and “there is no move to send them back to Sri Lanka.”
The sources declined to give the name of the new centre but said “it is outside the State.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Jayalalithaa, in a statement, urged the Centre not to train the Sri Lankan airmen in any part of the country. “The nine personnel should be immediately sent back to Sri Lanka.”
On Friday the Union government sent the airmen to the Yelahanka Air Force station near Bangalore. “People of Tamil Nadu suspect that the Centre, which includes the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, is acting against Tamils and Tamil race,” she said.
It was unacceptable to Tamils that the training programme, though removed from Tamil Nadu, was scheduled in Bangalore.
It was the wish of the people of the State that action should be taken against those who acted against Sri Lankan Tamils and violated international law during the conflict. They should be declared by the United Nations as war criminals, she added.
Asked about his stand if the training resumed in any other State, DMK president M. Karunanidhi said: “Let us see when that happens.”