As many as 17,000 children born to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu remain virtually stateless owing to the delay in getting birth certificates and parallel registration with the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai for Sri Lankan citizenship, say sources involved in relief work among the refugees.
The founder of the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR), S.C. Chandrahasan, said there was a huge backlog of applications after the State government suspended organising mobile camps in the Collectorates for registration.
While the birth certificates are issued by local officials, it is mandatory for the Sri Lankan Tamils to register themselves with the Deputy High Commission in Chennai for getting Sri Lankan citizenship for their children. When mobile camps are organised, Deputy High Commission officials visit the Collectorates and collect applications.
The Tamil refugee influx peaked in 1983 after ethnic riots broke out in Sri Lanka. At present, 66,000 Tamil refugees are living in 110 camps spread across in 25 districts of Tamil Nadu. Another 34,000 Sri Lankan Tamils are living outside the camps.
Refugees suspected to be militant group members are kept in special camps.
The State government then came forward to set up mobile camps to make the process of getting birth certificates less tedious.
“These mobile stations also hugely reduced the burden of the refugees coming all the way to Chennai to the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission. Now, owing to some misunderstanding, the practice has been suspended,” Mr. Chandrahasan said.
Registration with the Deputy High Commission is an essential procedure to get identity cards, especially when the refugees return home.
Mr. Chandrahasan said that getting citizenship for the children after reaching Sri Lanka would be a cumbersome process because it required the birth certificates of the parents. “Many parents do not have certificates as they either lost them or the papers were burnt during the riots,” he said.
Meanwhile, the number of children of Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu waiting to be registered is mounting by the day, adding to their agony.(The Hindu)
Comments - 4
kotik Saturday, 07 June 2014 01:54 PM
they do not want Indian citizenship via DM Android App
chinthaka Monday, 09 June 2014 05:28 PM
Still daydreaming . !
Saskia Saturday, 07 June 2014 12:56 PM
They are belong to north & east of SL and one they these 2 provinces will be a separate state. Then they will get the citizenship of that new state.
lingam Saturday, 07 June 2014 11:58 AM
in India its very difficult to get things done for ordinary people India is for people with money n power. my sister is married to an Indian living there for years with a kid n family but yet the authorities to issue visa n citizenship eventhough we are a family of Indian origen. She couldt come to sri lanka for my sisters n my fathers funeral. via DM Android App
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