Tamil Nadu parties seek to include Sri Lankan Tamil refugees
Political parties from Tamil Nadu on Tuesday urged the central government to consider the inclusion of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees under the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to fast-track Indian citizenship for members of the religious minorities from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Tamil Nadu units of the Congress, Communist Pary of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) joined the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in making the demand to keep in mind interests of Tamil refugees.
When the bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday, the DMK, CPI, and CPI (M) members questioned why it excluded Sri Lankan Tamils. DMK’s Central Chennai MP Dayanidhi Maran said: “The bill did not have any mention about the lakhs of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in India.” Sri Sri Ravishankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation, too, urged the Centre to consider Tamil refugees under the purview of the CAB.
Tamil Nadu’s ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Tamil Nadu said that the CAB wouldn’t harm Sri Lankan Tamil interests.