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TN Government seeks legal advice to grant refugee status to  Sri Lankans

- April 24, 2022

Chennai, April 24 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu Government has approached the services of legal experts to provide refugee status to the Sri Lankan Tamils who are reaching the country after the economic crisis has escalated in the island nation.

Since the economic crisis commenced in Sri Lanka, 60 Sri Lankan Tamils have reached the shores of India at Dhanushkodi and Rameswaram. Most of them have sold all their belongings and reached Indian shores in fishing boats paying huge money for a trip from the island nation to Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi.

The Tamil Nadu government has accommodated all the refugees at the Mandapam refugee camp but the accommodation is temporary as the state would have to get a green signal from the central government to provide full-scale refugee status to those who reach Indian shores.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu government told BPNS that the state government has used the services of some senior lawyers in New Delhi in providing the refugee status to those who arrive from Sri Lanka, especially Sri Lankan Tamils.

While there are several Sri Lankan Tamils who have got refugee status in India who reached the country during the intense civil war in Sri Lanka. More than 1 lakh Sri Lankan Tamils are in India with a majority of them in Tamil Nadu and accommodated in 67 refugee camps.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has recently increased the cash support to the refugees from Sri Lanka who are lodged in rehabilitation and refugee camps in various parts of the state. According to the revised budget, the head of a family will get Rs 1500 from the Rs 1000 they were earlier given. An adult member of the family will get Rs 1000 while a child will get Rs 500 after the revised budget.

Presently the Tamil Nadu government is considering those who arrive from Sri Lanka as illegal migrants but are provided all care including food and lodging and is awaiting a green signal from the central government to provide them refugee status. The legal experts engaged by the Tamil Nadu government are providing the necessary legal support for providing refugee status to these people.

A senior official with the Tamil Nadu government who is privy to the developments regarding the refugee status of the illegal migrants from Sri Lanka while speaking to BPNS said, “ The state government is keen that all of them are provided refugee status and is awaiting clearance from the Central government. We have already engaged senior lawyers to remove all the legal tangles regarding granting refugee status to these people. However, the final clearance will be provided by the Central government.”