Air force personnel are not being sent back from India: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka on Friday said its Air Force personnel are not being sent back from India and they will continue with their training at a different location in the country after their presence at an air base in Chennai came under attack from political parties in Tamil Nadu.
"Reports about a group of Sri Lankan Airmen under training in Chennai being sent back to Sri Lanka is incorrect. They will continue their training in another location in India without any hindrance to their training programme," the External Affairs Ministry said.
Earlier in the day, the Indian Defence Ministry said the Centre has decided to "send off" the Sri Lankan airmen from the IAF station at Tambaram where they were undergoing training.
"All Sri Lankan trainees are being sent off today from this Station as per instruction of the Ministry of Defence," a brief Defence Ministry statement said, a day after all political parties strongly protested training to nine Sri Lankan airmen in Chennai.
Sri Lankan press release said the airmen have been located elsewhere to further the training programme.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had publicly expressed opposition to the Sri Lankan airmen being trained in Tambaram air base, describing it as an "insult to Tamil people".
Source: By PTI Agency - Colombo - 06 July 2012
Photo: The Sri Lanka Air Force Hongdu JL-8Training Aircraft (Photo by Frank Noort)