Thousands among the 2.9 lakh Tamil refugees who broke out of the ‘no fire zone’ (NFZ) escaped with more than just their lives; they managed to do so with their savings of years.
Millions of rupees have been deposited in bank branches opened in the refugee camps, spread across the newly cleared areas adjoining the town of Vavuniya.
Long queues of people turned up to open savings accounts when two major Lankan banks decided to open temporary branches in the camps.
Not just with thick bundles of Sri Lankan rupees in cash, many of them also carried out jewellery bundled in clothes and flimsy suitcases.
“The first day, Rs 12 million were deposited in one branch, which was opened few weeks ago. For the first few days, on an average Rs 5 million were being deposited,’’ M. Farzan Mansoor, coordinating secretary to the President, told HT.
Prabhakaran’s parents in government custody
In another development, parents of LTTE chief, chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, are in the “protective custody” of the government, a media report said on Thursday.
Thiruvenkatam Velupillai (76) and his wife Parvathi (71) surrendered to the army several days ago, the Island newspaper said. They were reportedly among the civilians holed up in the no fire zone along the coast in Mullaitivu.
Prabhakaran’s parents were settled in Trichi for several years before returning to Sri Lankan in 2003.