19 more Sri Lankan Tamils arrive in Tamil Nadu
The number of Tamils fleeing to India has gone up to 39 since economic crisis triggered protests against the government in Sri Lanka
Chennai: As many as 19 more Tamils, including children, on Sunday arrived in Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, where the economic crisis has triggered protests against the government. The number of Tamils fleeing to India has gone up to 39.
On March 22, two batches of 16 people arrived in Rameswaram, the closest point to Sri Lanka. The third group of four people came to India on April 9.
“The 19 people arrived in two batches of nine and 10,” said rehabilitation and welfare of non-resident Tamils commissioner Jacintha Lazarus. “They were rescued by the Coastal Security Wing of Tamil Nadu Police and brought to Mandapam refugee camp near Rameswaram. We are providing them with food and accommodation.”
The 19 come from different parts of the Tamil-dominated north and north-eastern regions such as Mullaitheevu, Vavuniya, and Trincomalee amid unaffordable prices of commodities. They have been paying from ₹10,000 to ₹50,000 to boatmen to get them to Indian shores.
The families which landed here earlier were booked under the Passports Act and Foreigners Act for illegal entry into India. A local court in Rameshwaram ordered their detention.
The Tamil Nadu government is in touch with the Centre on the arrivals from Sri Lanka but has not been given any specific instructions. When chief minister M K Stalin met Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month, he sought permission for the state to send commodities and life-saving medicines to Tamils in Sri Lanka. This week, Stalin spoke to external affairs minister S Jaishankar seeking permission to send commodities such as rice.