Military Says Training From India Not New
By Camelia Nathaniel
Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya says training programmes in India for Sri Lankan military personnel have been taking place over a long period of time
He was responding to reports where some Indian politicians had urged the Indian Central government to stop training Sri Lankan military personnel.
“India providing training opportunities for Army, Navy and Air Force personnel is nothing new. Our relationship with India, when it comes to military training, goes back four decades or more. This has helped both countries to understand their military and also helped Sri Lanka to professionally develop its military personnel. We value this relationship very much and believe that it will continue in the future. However I would like to reiterate that this is not a new development but has been an existing relationship,” the military spokesman told The Sunday Leader.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and DMK chief M Karunanidhi had earlier opposed India’s offer to train Sri Lankan naval personnel against the backdrop of attacks on Indian fishermen allegedly by Lankan naval personnel, which has aroused emotional sentiments in Tamil Nadu.
So far this year the Sri Lanka Navy has apprehended 485 Indian fishermen and seized 92 fishing vessels that were found to have been engaged in illegal fishing activities in Sri Lankan waters.