No citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees | Sunday Observer
Indian Govt informs Madurai High Court

No citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees

1 August, 2021

The Government of India informed the High Court in Madurai on Friday that India would not grant citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in India.

According to reports from India, 60,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are living in 107 refugee camps in the State of Tamil Nadu along with 35,000 non-camp refugees in the State.

A significant number of Sri Lankan refugees also live in the State of Odisha (formerly known as Orissa). The Indian Central Government citing its reason for refusing to grant citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees has said that if citizenship was granted it would most likely open the floodgates for illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Myanmar (Rohingyas), Africa and the Central Asian countries.

The case for Indian citizenship was filed at the Madurai High Court by Jegatheeswaran and Yogeswaran along with 65 other Sri Lankan Tamil refugees of the Kottapattu refugee camp for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tiruchi district.

In its response at the Madurai High Court on Friday (30), the Indian Government said that the 65 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees urging for Indian citizenship have no legal right to seek Indian citizenship and the relief claimed is specifically barred by the Citizenship Act, the Centre said and sought the order to be set aside. According to the Madras Hindu Tamil Nadu, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam admitted the appeal and adjourned the hearing till August 23. The judges said the appeal has to be heard in the light of the observations made by the Single Bench.

Scores of Sri Lankan Tamils fled to the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu following problems in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka over a decade ago.