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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2673

43 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India are arriving Sri Lanka Tomorrow

Colombo, 08 February, (Asiantribune.com):

43 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India are arriving Sri Lanka on 9th February 2016 Under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme.

They are scheduled to arrive through Sri Lankan Airlines (UL 132) at 10.20 a.m from Trichy and Mihin Lanka Airlines (MJ130) at 12.20 p.m. from Chennai and (MJ308) at 10.20 a.m. from Madurai.

D. M. Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs had a discussion with the UNHCR and facilitated the process and increased the baggage allowance per person with assistance of the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development, Sri Lankan Air Lines and Mihin Lanka Airlines.

Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs confirmed that of the 43 refugee returnees 24 are males and 19 are females. These refugee returnees will get back to Trincomalee, Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullaithivu, Kilinochchci and Mannar.

Further, the UNHCR provides free air tickets, reintegration allowance of US$ 75 per person, transport allowance US$ 19 per person and monitory non-food grant of US$ 75 per family. Since 2011, already 4589 refugees (16511 Families) have returned to Sri Lanka said the Ministry Secretary Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy. Over 64,000 are stationed in 109 welfare camps in India.

Totally, over 100,000 refugees are currently in India. D.M.Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs put up a Cabinet paper seeking financial support to provide livelihood assistance to the refugee returnees which is now being referred to the national planning authorities to consider with the comprehensive project proposal.

Further, the provision of dry ration has been already approved for 6 months. The REPPIA has been instructed by the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs to provide compensation for those who have lost their houses and suffered loss of lives of kiths and kins and for injuries.

Ministry Secretary Mr.V.Sivagnansothy informed that, the refugees who lost their houses will be provided with houses under the 65,000 housing programme of the Ministry.

The Government of Sri Lanka has initiated action to encourage the voluntary refugee returnee programme on a phased out basis and the current trend of increased refugee returnees is a sign of reconciliation and moving towards permanent peace said the Ministry secretary.

- Asian Tribune -

D.M.Swaminathan - Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs
V.Sivagnansothy -  Secretary, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs
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