Political parties in Tamil Nadu came together to protest a controversial statement by Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju on Monday that India would continue to train defence personnel from Sri Lanka.
UPA ally DMK reacted strongly to the statement that Sri Lanka was a friendly country,with its president M Karunanidhi stating that the relationship was one-sided rather than mutual,as described by Raju on Monday. Pointing out that Lanka was closely aligned with China,Karunanidhi questioned the rationale behind considering the island nation a friendly one. His DMK also raised the issue on Parliament on Tuesday with members carrying placards and protesting in the well of the House.
Karunanidhi said Rajus comment was an insult to Tamil Nadu and the sentiments of its people. He urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately intervene and reconsider the statement. He said the two Lankan officers being trained at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington,should be sent back.
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa,too,recorded her dismay at Rajus comment,which she said betrays the total insensitivity on the part of the Government of India towards the views of my Government as well as the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu.
In a letter to the PM,she asked him to give up such a condemnable attitude and show more regard for the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu by sending back the two Lanka officers.