10 more refugees from Sri Lanka reach Dhanushkodi in TN

In another case of people fleeing from Sri Lanka due to the high cost of living and unemployment in the island nation, 10 more Sri Lankan Tamils reached Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district in the early hours of Saturday.

They were accommodated at the refugee camp in Ramanathapuram after questioning at the Mandapam police station.

The refugees are M. Jayakumar (45) from Mannar district, his wife Yogeshwari (39), their daughters Tamilmathi (22) and Kanimathi (15); R. Pushpam (64) and her son Prabakar (43) from Mullai Theevu; R. Justin (42), his wife Ausiyu (36) and their children Anshika (3) and Anjitha (three months).

Speaking to mediapersons at Dhanushkodi, Justin said, “Even though price rise was there in Sri Lanka, after the economic crisis, jobs became a rarity. Feeding children and dependents became difficult there.”

Justin said that he and his family members, including two toddlers and his wife Ausiya, decided to sell their silverware and a gold chain to a pawnbroker to raise money for their travel expenses to reach Dhanushkodi.

Another refugee, Pushpam, said that she had no option but to pay money to the boatman and reach Dhanushkodi.

She said that sugar is being sold at 300 Sri Lankan rupees per kg, whiel rice costs 250 SLR per kg.

“Jobs are not available after the crisis, and even if we get a job, we are not even able to buy 100 gm sugar. I have a 43-year-old son who is mentally unstable and life was miserable there. I somehow sold all my belongings, raised 50,000 SLR as boatman’s charge and reached Dhanushkodi,” Pushpam said.

The refugees are now settled at the Mandapam rehabilitation camp in Dhanushkodi.

The total number of refugees from Sri Lanka who have reached the camp has touched 199 now.

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