Yielding to the pressure from Tamil Nadu political parties which vehemently oppose providing military assistance to Sri Lanka, the Indian government has asked its Navy to conduct joint naval exercises with Sri Lanka in the seas away from the four southern states.
India's Defence Ministry has asked the Indian Navy to hold joint exercises with Sri Lanka in future away from the coasts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka, a PTI report said.
"The Defence Ministry has advised us to hold the SLINEX-series exercises with our Sri Lankan counterparts away from the coasts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka," a Navy official has told PTI.
The two navies have so far held two exercises under code name 'SLINEX' along the coast of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka in September, 2011 and in 2005.
The Indian navy is reportedly planning to hold a future edition of SLINEX exercise in Indian waters and the Defence Ministry has issued the advisory ahead of the event.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa objecting to training Sri Lankan defence personnel in Tamil Nadu, has written to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking the Central government to halt training to Sri Lankan defence personnel.
In July this year nine Sri Lankan Air Force personnel training in the Tambaram Air Force station in Chennai on a nine month-long training program were moved to Bangalore after the Chief Minister and Tamil political parties staged protests.
However, the Indian government said it will continue to provide training to Sri Lankan defence personnel at India's defence facilities despite the opposition from the Tamil parties in the state of Tamil Nadu.