Sept 04 (PNS) Union Shipping Minister GK Vasan finds himself in troubled waters following his demand to the Union Government for sending back the two Sri Lankan military personnel getting trained in India back to the island nation.
While speaking to reporters here on Saturday, Vasan demanded the expulsion of the two Sri Lankan defence personnel who are being trained in the defence services staff College, Wellington, Tamil Nadu, an elite organisation of the Indian Army. He said he would soon meet Union Defence Minister AK Antony for expelling the Lankan officers.
Vasan took strong objections to the statement made by the Minister of State for Defence Production Pallam Raju that Sri Lanka was a friendly country and India would continue to provide training to military personnel from the island nation.
"The Congress party in Tamil Nadu is firm that Sri Lankan Army officials should not be given training in the country and the two officials who are already being trained should be sent back immediately," newspapers quoted Vasan as saying during a brief interaction with the media.
Dr Subramanian Swamy, president, Janata Party said he would write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking permission to prosecute Vasan for his comments. Dr Swamy, a former Union Minister for Law and Corporate Affairs, said the comments attributed to Vasan, if found to have been correct, could put him in trouble.
"There are enough provisions in the Indian Penal Code with which he could be hauled to a court of law for attempting to vitiate India's relations with a friendly country. What he has done is a breach of the joint responsibility of the Cabinet. Let him repeat the statement in New Delhi or anywhere outside Tamil Nadu and we will see the repercussions," he said.
Interestingly, BS Gnanadesikan, president, TNCC, also took a different view from that of Vasan. "Only two Sri Lankan military officers are undergoing training in India," said the TNCC chief.
Meanwhile, the diplomatic ties between India and Sri Lanka suffered yet another setback with Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa ordering the suspension of an officer in charge of the Nehru Stadium for permitting a club football team from the island nation to play a game in the stadium. The Lankan team was here to play a couple of friendly matches with local teams.
Monday saw MDMK leader Vaiko threatening to stage a black flag demonstration against Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse when he visits Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh on September 21.The MDMK leader asked the BJP leadership to cancel the invitation extended to Rajapakshe for laying the foundation stone for an institute of Buddhist studies at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh.