Lankan Tamil refugees returning from TN apprehended | Sunday Observer

Lankan Tamil refugees returning from TN apprehended

Six Sri Lankan Tamil refugees - a woman, two boys aged 11 and 12 and three men - in their desperation to get back to their native villages in the North and the East after years of confinement to refugee camps in Tamil Nadu got apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy when they came across the Palk Strait in an hired Indian fishing vessel last week.

The navy found them dropped in a sand mound near the Talaimannar coast. The men, the woman and the two children who were housed in the Cudalore Refugee camp belong to four different families and decided to come across the Palk Strait unable to wait the long wait for their official repatriations, according to reports. This is the first time that Sri Lankan refugees from Tamil Nadu returned to the Talaimannar coast although there were several such illegal returns to other Northern coasts in the recent months, reports said.

The Talaimannar police handed them over produced them in Court. The woman and the men were ordered by the Court to be remanded until the 8th of this month while the children were sent to probation care.Around 62,000 refugees, living in 107 camps across Tamil Nadu, have been receiving various relief measures of the Central and State governments. In addition, in recent years, the Tamil Nadu government has taken steps for scores of young boys and girls of the refugee community to join professional courses, particularly engineering.

This has benefited eligible candidates among 36,800 non-camp refugees in the State , according to Chennai-based reports. In the last nearly one decade , hardly 10% of the refugee population (9,238 people) were officially repatriated through a scheme implemented by Indian officials along with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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