BUCKLING UNDER MANY PROTESTS IN TAMIL NADU 27 SL AIRFORCE TRAINEES SENT TO KARNATAKA
Posted on July 7th, 2012

by Walter Jayawardhana

Buckling under the many protests from Tamil Nadu the New Delhi government transferred 27 Sri Lankan Air Force personnel who were undergoing their training at Thambaram station near Chennai in Tamil Namil Nadu to the nearby state called Karnataka.

The Times of India said, “All Sri Lankan trainees are being sent off today from this station (Tambaram) as per instructions of the defence ministry,” quoting ” a terse statement issued by military authorities in Chennai while noting ” A red-faced MoD in New Delhi, in turn, ducked for cover and refused to say anything on the matter.”

The newspaper further said quoting unknown sources that the decision to “abruptly shift” the 27 Sri Lankan technical stream airmen to Bangalore’s Yelahanka airbase was taken “at the highest level” in the Centre following mounting protests from political parties in Tamil Nadu.

“The decision came after TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday held the training of Sri Lankan military personnel in the state was “an insult to Tamil people” and others like her bitter rival DMK, a part of the UPA government at the Centre, too joined in the anti-Sri Lanka chorus.

“Later in the day, government sources were at pains to suggest the 27 Sri Lankan personnel had “completed” their “training phase” at Tambaram and would further continue their nine-month course on ground handling of transport aircraft at Yelahanka.

“With the discrimination against Sri Lankan Tamils by the majority Sinhalese in the island nation being a hugely emotive issue in Tamil Nadu, the Centre has always had to strike a fine balance between domestic political sensitivities and larger strategic considerations.

“Even when the Sri Lankan forces were earlier battling the LTTE, India’s strategy to provide non-lethal arms and military training to Colombo, coupled with intelligence sharing and `coordinated’ naval patrolling, was primarily aimed to counter ever-growing strategic inroads into the island nation by both China and Pakistan.

“Though India trains soldiers from several countries “”‚ ranging from the Maldives, Mauritius and Mongolia to Botswana, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan “”‚ the facilities extended to Sri Lanka are much more. The premier Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, for instance, has even run ‘special courses‘ to train hundreds of “gentlemen cadets” from Sri Lanka.

“Over the last several years, India has also trained thousands of Sri Lankan personnel at its military institutions ranging from Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in Mizoram to School of Artillery at Devlali in Maharashtra, apart from providing specialised naval courses in gunnery, navigation, communication and anti-submarine warfare.

“Continuing with this diplomatic and military engagement, India and Sri Lanka last September-November had also held their first major naval combat exercise “SLINEX-11” in six years, with a total of 16 warships off Trincomalee. The Indian Navy, in recent times, has also done hydro-graphic surveys and salvage operations for Sri Lanka. ”

Meanwhile suburban train services around Chennai were affected for nearly an hour after noon on Friday as nearly 50 members of the Naam Tamilar Katchi led by the founder of the party, Seeman, a film actor and director, sat on the tracks in Tambaram, protesting against the training to Sri Lankan Air Force personnel at the Air Force base, Tambaram.

A suburban train between Chennai Beach and Tirumalpur (Kancheepuram) was delayed more than half an hour, while other suburban trains delayed by 10 to 15 minutes. Everyday, more than 285 suburban sevices are operated between Chennai Beach and Tambaram, 16 services between Chennai Beach and Tirumalpur and four trips between Tambaram and Chengelpet. “RPF personnel came to the spot and took away the protestors around 1.30pm. Now, the situation has returned normal,” said a railway official.

Earlier in the day, supporters of the Naam Tamilar Katchi held a demostration in front of the IAF’s station in Tambaram and raised slogans against Sri Lanka for nearly an hour and then came to the railway station to block the track. On Thursday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa demanded the Union government to scrap the training programme for the Sri Lankan air force personnel at the Air Force base, Tambaram. Other political parties joined her in condemning the Centre for allowing training of Sri Lankan military personnel in the state when Sri Lankan Tamils were suffering.

The Times of India said, “All Sri Lankan trainees are being sent off today from this station (Tambaram) as per instructions of the defence ministry,” quoting ” a terse statement issued by military authorities in Chennai while noting ” A red-faced MoD in New Delhi, in turn, ducked for cover and refused to say anything on the matter.”

The newspaper further said quoting unknown sources that the decision to “abruptly shift” the 27 Sri Lankan technical stream airmen to Bangalore’s Yelahanka airbase was taken “at the highest level” in the Centre following mounting protests from political parties in Tamil Nadu.

“The decision came after TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday held the training of Sri Lankan military personnel in the state was “an insult to Tamil people” and others like her bitter rival DMK, a part of the UPA government at the Centre, too joined in the anti-Sri Lanka chorus.

“Later in the day, government sources were at pains to suggest the 27 Sri Lankan personnel had “completed” their “training phase” at Tambaram and would further continue their nine-month course on ground handling of transport aircraft at Yelahanka.

“With the discrimination against Sri Lankan Tamils by the majority Sinhalese in the island nation being a hugely emotive issue in Tamil Nadu, the Centre has always had to strike a fine balance between domestic political sensitivities and larger strategic considerations.

“Even when the Sri Lankan forces were earlier battling the LTTE, India’s strategy to provide non-lethal arms and military training to Colombo, coupled with intelligence sharing and `coordinated’ naval patrolling, was primarily aimed to counter ever-growing strategic inroads into the island nation by both China and Pakistan.

“Though India trains soldiers from several countries “”‚ ranging from the Maldives, Mauritius and Mongolia to Botswana, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan “”‚ the facilities extended to Sri Lanka are much more. The premier Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, for instance, has even run ‘special courses‘ to train hundreds of “gentlemen cadets” from Sri Lanka.

“Over the last several years, India has also trained thousands of Sri Lankan personnel at its military institutions ranging from Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in Mizoram to School of Artillery at Devlali in Maharashtra, apart from providing specialised naval courses in gunnery, navigation, communication and anti-submarine warfare.

“Continuing with this diplomatic and military engagement, India and Sri Lanka last September-November had also held their first major naval combat exercise “SLINEX-11” in six years, with a total of 16 warships off Trincomalee. The Indian Navy, in recent times, has also done hydro-graphic surveys and salvage operations for Sri Lanka. ”

Meanwhile suburban train services around Chennai were affected for nearly an hour after noon on Friday as nearly 50 members of the Naam Tamilar Katchi led by the founder of the party, Seeman, a film actor and director, sat on the tracks in Tambaram, protesting against the training to Sri Lankan Air Force personnel at the Air Force base, Tambaram.

A suburban train between Chennai Beach and Tirumalpur (Kancheepuram) was delayed more than half an hour, while other suburban trains delayed by 10 to 15 minutes. Everyday, more than 285 suburban sevices are operated between Chennai Beach and Tambaram, 16 services between Chennai Beach and Tirumalpur and four trips between Tambaram and Chengelpet. “RPF personnel came to the spot and took away the protestors around 1.30pm. Now, the situation has returned normal,” said a railway official.

Earlier in the day, supporters of the Naam Tamilar Katchi held a demostration in front of the IAF’s station in Tambaram and raised slogans against Sri Lanka for nearly an hour and then came to the railway station to block the track. On Thursday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa demanded the Union government to scrap the training programme for the Sri Lankan air force personnel at the Air Force base, Tambaram. Other political parties joined her in condemning the Centre for allowing training of Sri Lankan military personnel in the state when Sri Lankan Tamils were suffering.

2 Responses to “BUCKLING UNDER MANY PROTESTS IN TAMIL NADU 27 SL AIRFORCE TRAINEES SENT TO KARNATAKA”

  1. mjaya Says:

    Lets not humiliate our heroes. NEVER SEND THEM TO FILTHY INDIA FOR ANY TRAINING. Sending them for training to Pakistan or China is a much better option, both militarily and geopolitically.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    What the hell SLAF men doing in Toilet Madu?

    SL is the ONLY shameless country to train its air force in India!!

    What expertise do they have to train us! This is corruption.

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