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Indo-Lanka naval exercise ends amid protest

A large scale 5-day naval exercise between India and Sri Lanka ended Friday, as various Tamil groups registered their protest at India’s participation.

Paattali Makkal Katchi leader S Ramadoss said,

“When the whole of Tamil Nadu is demanding that India have no relations whatsoever with Sri Lanka, it is improper for the Indian Navy to engage itself in joint naval exercises with the same country”.

"Sri Lankan Navy has always worked against the Indian interest. After the Katchatheevu agreement in 1974, so far 540 Indian fishermen have been killed by the Lankan Navy. People of Tamil Nadu are feeling whether the joint exercise is a gift given by India to Sri Lanka for the killing of Tamil fishermen,"

The exercise, the first between the two nations since 2005, was described as a “major step-up” in military co-operation.

It has also been reported that India trained thousands of Sri Lankan soldiers in counter-insurgency and jungle warfare at a military school in Mizoram, as well as in the Deolali School of Artillery.

Entitled "SLINEX 2011", the joint exercises took place off the coast of Trincomalee.

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