SL top military officers cut short India visit

Two senior Sri Lankan defence officials today left here cutting short their visit to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, India in the wake of protests by political parties in Tamil Nadu against imparting training to them by India.

Major General Jagath Diaz of the Sri Lankan Air Force and Rear Admiral S Ranasinghe of the Lankan Navy left the hotel where they were staying in Coonoor near Wellington at around 5.45 am and reached here by road escorted by police, a senior police official said.

The two Sri Lankan officials left the city by a special aircraft, the official said. Police and Defence sources, however, refused to reveal their destination.

They had come to Wellington in neighbouring Nilgiris district after undergoing training at the National Defence Academy, New Delhi.

Their departure comes a day after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and key UPA ally DMK President M Karunanidhi demanded that the two officers be sent back, saying imparting of training to Sri Lankan defence personnel by India hurt the sentiments of Tamils.

The two officials, part of a 25-member delegation comprising representatives of 10 countries, were at the Wellington college to attend a two-day seminar, which is to conclude today.

This is the second incident in recent days when Sri Lankan defence personnel were forced to leave Tamil Nadu in the wake of protests by the political parties.

Eight Sri Lankan airforce men, undergoing training at the IAF base near Chennai, were shifted to Bangalore after Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi and others demanded they be sent back.(Outlook India)

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