Tamil Nadu is on fire after the Central government refused to stop training Sri Lankan soldiers in India. Letter bombs sent by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has been exploding under the prime minister’s chair on this issue for some time.
The continued training of two Sri Lankan army personnel at the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, Tamil Nadu is a high voltage emotive issue in Tamil Nadu where parties across the political spectrum have been agitating after the island nation’s army finished off the Tamil Tiger’s separatist guerilla moment for Eelam in May 2009.
Last week, Jayalalithaa shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which reads, “I am surprised to learn that the Government of India has openly declared that the said training will go on since Sri Lanka is a friendly country. This portrays 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.”
Jaya reiterated that the Centre should give up its condemnable attitude and show more regard for the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu by sending the Lankan armymen back.
New Delhi’s failure to handle the issue was apparent from the fact that all major parties panned Union Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju, who defended the Centre’s stand.
This is not the first time Jaya is writing to Manmohan Singh.
In her latest missive, she recalled a previous letter dated August 25 on the same issue. The UPA had chosen to ignore it so far.
“Instead of acceding to my request, I am surprised to learn that the Government of India has openly declared that the said training will go on since Sri Lanka is a friendly country,” the chief minister said.
Jayalalithaa has written many letters to the Prime Minister on this sensitive topic.
Last week, shooting an oblique barb at the UPA, the Tamil Nadu chief minister expressed hope that a time would come when her government’s views would be taken seriously by the Centre.
She was referring to the government disregarding her recommendations of Padma awardees from Tamil Nadu, but the subtelity of her complaint would not have been lost on the Congress party.
The AIADMK chief has clearly taken up the space of a champion for Tamil rights leaving her opponents, specifically the DMK, floundering even its their protest.
The decimated Congress party in the state can only watch helplessly as the drama unfolds.