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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2422

35 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from Tamil Nadu, arriving today

Colombo, 12 July, (Asiantribune.com):

35 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from Tamil Nadu, arriving today35 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India are arriving Sri Lanka today under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme.

They are two voluntary repatriation movements on Tuesday July 12, 2016 consisting 17 persons (8 families) scheduled to arrive through Mihin Lanka Airlines (MJ 308) at 09.15 a.m from Madurai and 18 persons (8 families) scheduled to arrive through Mihin Lanka Airlines (MJ 130) at 12.05 p.m. from Chennai.

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, Mihin Lanka Airlines.

Mr. V.Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs confirmed that of the 35 refugee returnees 11 are males and 24 are females. These refugee returnees will get back to Mannar, Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Trincomalee.

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 4,835 refugees (1,754 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. Hon. D.M.Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs initiated a Cabinet paper on which livelihood assistance of maximum Rs. 100,000 to refugee returnees is provided to support the livelihood activities.

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 loss their houses will be provided with houses under the housing programme of the Ministry.

The Government of Sri Lanka under the leadership of the President Maithripala Sirisena 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 -

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