As MPs from Tamil Nadu protested the government’s move to train Sri Lankan defence personnel in the country and sought a discussion in Parliament, the Defence Ministry said it had requested the Lok Sabha Secretariat to not allow a debate on the issue.
“Since the subject matter [training Sri Lankan defence personnel] involves our relations with a neighbouring country and discussion on this issue on the floor of the House will involve sensitive matters pertaining to our relations with a neighbouring country, [the] Lok Sabha Secretariat is requested to consider disallowance of the notice,” said a copy of the Ministry’s office memorandum, given to CPI Tenkasi MP P. Lingam. The note, dated December 13, said it was issued with the approval of Defence Minister A.K. Antony.
The note said: “The training assistance to the foreign countries, including Sri Lanka, based on their request, is a part of ongoing defence exchanges with a number of friendly foreign countries. Such requests are considered keeping in view our national interests. The participation of the foreign armed forces personnel in the training programmes in India is undertaken as an initiative of the military diplomacy to build goodwill with the countries to which, such training opportunities are provided. Similarly, the Indian armed forces personnel are also deputed to training to various countries.”
Among others, the members of the CPI, the AIADMK, the DMK, the MDMK, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and the CPI (M) from Tamil Nadu have been demanding a discussion on the subject in Parliament. (Source: The Hindu)