press trust of india
UDHAGAMANDALAM (TN), 18 JUNE: Some 600 activists belonging to pro-Tamil Eelam outfits were today arrested for allegedly attempting to march to the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, 15 km from here, where two Sri Lankan defence personnel are undergoing training.
Protesting against the training, the activists demanded resignation of Defence Minister A K Antony for giving “false” assurance that no Sri Lankan military personnel would be given training on Tamil Nadu soil. The activists shouted slogans against the Central government, which, they alleged, was taking an anti-Tamil stand.
They also burnt Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in effigies, besides burning the Sri Lankan national flag. Police said the activists were stopped some 3 km from the college and arrested.
Mr K Ramakrishnan, general secretary, Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhakam (TPDK), said like-minded parties and organisations have decided to stage demonstrations in front of the Congress offices in Tamil Nadu and also against Central ministers from the state, dates for which would be announced later.
Besides the TPDK, workers from the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, the MDMK, the Vanigar Sangham and the Federation of Tamil National Students, participated in the demonstration, police said.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had slammed the Centre for being “insensitive” on the issue of training Sri Lankan defence personnel and asked it not to train them until Colombo takes satisfactory and credible action to end human rights violations against Tamils.
She had said two Lankan officers ~ Wing Commander M S Bandara Dassanayke and Major C S Harishchandra Hettiarachchige ~ were undergoing training at Wellington, which, she said, was a matter of “grave import that greatly offends the sensitivities and sentiments of people of Tamil Nadu”.
Protesting against the training of two Sri Lankan personnel, the activists demanded resignation of Defence Minister A K Antony for giving ‘false’ assurances