New Delhi: The DMK and the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu stand united over the issue of training given to Sri Lankan soldiers on Indian soil. DMK Chief Karunanidhi has come out strongly in support of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on taking a strong stand.
The DMK has hit out at the Centre for ignoring the plight of innocent Tamil fishermen who were being allegedly attacked by the Lankan Army.
"All we are asking for in the Sri Lankan issue is that the Sri Lankan soldiers should not to be trained here," Karunanidhi said.
DMK leader TKS Elangovan added, "Our feelings are not being respected by both the Sri Lankan government and the Government of India. We wanted the training happening on the island to stop, innocent fishermen were being attacked by them. The Jayalalithaa government has represented the sentiments of the Tamils."
Meanwhile, a batch of 178 Sri Lankan nationals faced protests for the second consecutive day on Tuesday with a pro-Tamil outfit trying to block their vehicles when they were returning after offering worship at a famous shrine.
The police have arrested nine activists of an outfit with pro-LTTE leanings. The pilgrims are expected to head out to Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
A delegation of DMK MPs led by its Parliamentary Party leader TR Baalu met Defence Minister AK Antony and placed their demands before him, explaining the rationale for wanting scrapping of the training programmee.
Training of Sri Lankan Army personnel in India ran into a rough weather after they were shifted from an Air Force Station in Tambaram in Chennai following stiff opposition from political parties and other groups in Tamil Nadu.
In the memorandum submitted to Antony, the MPs said India's training to Sri Lankan personnel after the country voted in favour of a resolution at UNHRC in Geneva earlier this year against that country, creates "doubts in the minds of people of Tamil Nadu about the intentions of the government."
"To allay such fears and doubts, we urge the Government of India to immediately stop training Sri Lankan Army personnel, who are accused of perpetrating war crimes against innocent Tamils in that country," the MPs said.
The DMK lawmakers also complained that the 'no change' stand of the Centre with regard to the training programme has hurt the sentiments of Tamils across the globe.
The issue has also triggered a letter war in the state with Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her bete noire and DMK chief M Karunanidhi dashing off letters frequently to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking scrapping of the training exercise.
(With additional information from PTI)