TN prepares for arrival of more refugees as crisis looms large in S. Lanka

With the arrival of four more Sri Lankan Tamils into the state, the Tamil Nadu government is preparing itself for more refugees hitting the shores of the state.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has already sent directives to various state government departments to prepare themselves for the arrival of more Sri Lankan Tamils as crisis in the island nation continues.

A senior bureaucrat while speaking to IANS said: “Already 20 Sri Lankan Tamils are housed at the Mandapam refugee camp since their arrival following the financial crisis in Lanka and our Chief Minister has directed all the departments concerned to take a benevolent view of the refugees.”

Chief Minister Stalin has already sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar requesting them to involve in the matter.

In the latest incident of refugee arrival, a family of four — husband, wife, and two children — reached Dhanushkodi. The Marine police took them into custody and handed them over to the Mandapam Camp.

The Sri Lankan Tamil family, while speaking to reporters at the Mandapam camp, on Friday said that they were in abject poverty and did not have the means to provide even food to the family hence they had no other option but to reach India.

Speaking to mediapersons, Kishanthan (34) said that there were no food and the family had to go to sleep without food for several days. He said that the family was helped by Sri Lankan fishermen to cross Indian shores and reach Dhanushkodi.

He said that more refugees from the island nation will reach the Indian shores soon and that they were jobless. Kishanthan said that he was a fisherman but lack of fuel has led him to shift to masonry but regular power cuts have affected that job also. The Sri Lankan Tamil refugee said that this made him leave for India along with his family.

Kishanthan also said that he had stayed at the Pudukottai refugee camp between 2006 and 2010 and his wife Ranjita has stayed from 2006 to 2010 at Krishnagiri refugee camp and hence were familiar with the Indian surroundings. He also said that he had a few relatives in Tamil Nadu who would be of help.

Notably, 16 Sri Lankan Tamils had reached the shores of India as refugees on March 22 in two batches. They are housed at the Mandapam refugee camp after the advisory issued by the Commissioner of Rehabilitation and Welfare of Non-Resident Tamils. The Mandapam Marine coastal police told IANS that no cases were registered against them.




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