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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2959

Malaysian company admits training Jaffna Tamil pilots

Kula Lumpur, 30 March, ( Dr.T. Dorai, Principal of Advance Aeronautics Training Centre located in Perak as well as in Ipoh , Malaysia, told the Asian Tribune that his organization is giving training on flying as well as on aircraft maintenance engineering to Tamil students from Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

When asked whether those students who undergo courses in his training centre are from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – the separatists Sri Lanka Tamil Tiger organization -- Dr. Dorai said that he is not aware of their political affiliations, but he said they are Tamils from Jaffna.

Dr. Dorai. a Malaysian of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, said that their training centre conduct two types of aeronautical courses – 1. Flying and 2. Aircraft maintenance engineering course.

He said at present there are no Jaffna students undergoing flying training but there are four students undergoing training in aircraft maintenance engineering.

He said more students from Sri Lanka are soon expected to join to undergo flying training in training centre.

Dr. Dorai explained that students can follow one year training in his training centre and go to Scotland for another two years training to obtain the engineering degree. Or else the students can follow the course for two years in his training centre and go for a year to Scotland and complete the aircraft maintenance engineering degree

Dr. Dorai told at one time Sri Lanka High Commission in Kula Lumpur was concerned about why many Tamil students enrolled themselves for training in flying at his centre. Following this inquiry he had taken one student from Jaffna, Dinesh Kumar, who had enrolled himself for flying training, to the Sri Lanka High Commissioner. After interviewing the student the High Commission issued a "No Objection Certificate" for the student to undergo the training in flying.

But Dr. Dorai said that Dinesh Kumar later gave up the idea of undergoing flying and he is now following the aircraft maintenance engineering course.

In the course of the conversation Dr. Dorai said that he met the Political Secretary of the LTTE in 1998 in Paris (most probably Lawrence Tilakar) and discussed matters regarding the smuggling of arms and ammunition to the LTTE in Vanni. He said that at that time he was working in Nigeria, but he did not disclose whether he was involved in the smuggling of arms.

When Asian Tribune contacted Sri Lanka High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and spoke to the Acting High Commissioner, Mrs Dissanayake, she was unwilling to cooperate in the investigations. Asian Tribune explained to her that suspicious characters from Sri Lanka had enrolled in courses for training in flying in Malaysia which can constitute a security threat to Sri Lanka. She, however, refused to cooperate in the investigations.

The competent handling of inquiries concerning security threats to Sri Lanka should be a priority in the Sri Lankan missions abroad. But the bureaucratic attitude of Sri Lankan diplomats who refuse to answer simple questions reflects the incompetence of the Foreign Ministry as a whole. Both the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama and his Secretary Dr.Palith Kohona, have taken command only recently and they need time to settle down in their respective jobs.

But the security needs of Sri Lanka cannot wait too long. Realizing the need to revamp the Foreign Ministry President Mahinda Rajapakse recently summoned the heads of mission abroad and gave them a pep talk advising them to shape up. But the wheels of the Foreign Ministry haven’t started to move at the pace needed to meet the challenges posed by the agents of the LTTE. A good example is Mrs. Dissanayake who was reluctant to even reveal her full name. Obviously she has not been trained to handle routine questions from the media.

The details of the Malaysian operator is as follows:

T. Dorai Ph. D. (Principal)
Lot 38021, Sultan Azlan Shah Airport
Jalan Lapangan Terbang
31350 Ipoh
Perak Darul Ridzuan


- Asian Tribune -

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