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Golden opportunity for SL refugees in India to return: OfERR

30 August 2015 04:26 am - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Given the prevailing political situation in Sri Lanka, the time has come for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu to return home, said S. C. Chandrahasan, founder of the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR).

“It is a golden opportunity for the refugees to return home especially when there is an effort to form a national government in Sri Lanka. The time has come to reap the benefits of our blood-stained struggle,” he told The Hindu in Chennai.

Tamil Nadu is home to more than one hundred thousand Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka, with over 60,000 of them residing in a hundred camps spread across the State.

Asked whether the refugees were ready for return, Mr. Chandrahasan said though they had some reservations, assistance from the governments of Tamil Nadu and India to start their life in Sri Lanka would convince them to return to their homeland.

“The Tamil Nadu government is already rendering a lot of help. They can continue to provide support at least for one year till our people find their feet in Sri Lanka,” Mr. Chandrahasan said. OfERR had already held 17 rounds of talks with the refugees before presenting their case to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and officials of the ministry about the return of the refugees. The Sri Lankan government also was very keen on their return as 3,800 graduates among the refugees would be of great resource for the country.

Mr. Chandrahasan said already over 10,000 people had returned to Sri Lankan on their own. However, politically too, their return was very important to the Tamil community. “We have lost two MPs in the Northern Provinces because of lack of Tamil population. Our return also will make up for the loss,” he said.  Noting that the present dispensation in the island nation had the support of former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, he said the Special Presidential Commission that she heads on finding a solution to the problems of the Tamil community was a ray of hope. Mr. Chandrahasan said though he had plans to enter politics he was delaying it for the sake of the refugees.
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  Comments - 7

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  • Rodger Sunday, 30 August 2015 10:59 AM

    And upcountry tamils of Indian origin in Sri Lanka to return to India as well.

    Aba Jayasekera Sunday, 30 August 2015 11:54 AM

    I am very happy to see that Chandrahasan, the youngest son of S.J.V.Chelvanayagam is promoting the return of the Tamil refugees. He earlier represented a body that believed the Government was committing genocide on them. I welcome this change of heart in Chandrahasan whom I last met in 1953 when he was a schoolboy at Royal College.

    BUSHEL Sunday, 30 August 2015 01:57 PM

    So Eelam is existing. So Good international relations.

    Sinhaya Sunday, 30 August 2015 02:17 PM

    Then you will have to go to Somalia as well....

    nadarajah Monday, 31 August 2015 12:54 PM

    let us give ranil and mahinda the boost they deserve -tamils pl return

    Amila Sunday, 30 August 2015 10:24 AM

    welcome all.

    Bippity Boppity Boo Sunday, 30 August 2015 10:35 AM

    Sure, we are once again a civilised country rules by internationally recognised and civilised leaders. Please come back and lets live together as we did in the 60s. I grew up in Wellawatte and we had no problems then.


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