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UN refugee agency wants India, SL ferry service to resume

14 May 2015 02:05 pm - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The UN refugee agency today appealed for the resumption of ferry services between India and Sri Lanka saying it would help in the return of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from India, the Economic Times said.

"We look forward to the resumption of the ferry service between India and Sri Lanka that would be of enormous support to those who wish to return," said Golam Abbas, representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Colombo.

Yesterday, over 40 refugees left for Sri Lanka voluntarily from Chennai and Tiruchirappali under the aegis of the UNHCR.

The total number of refugees whose return from India has been facilitated by the UNHCR this year so far has now risen to 147.

They returnees said they had escaped Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict and had lived in camps in Tamil Nadu since as far back as 1990.

The India-Lanka ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo was resumed in June 2011 after a lapse of nearly 30 years. However it was scrapped a year later as it did not prove to be a commercially viable operation.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Colombo in March, the two countries had expressed strong willingness to resume the service as early as possible.

Over 100,000 Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka live in Tamil Nadu. Out of those, about 65,000 live in 107 camps spread across the state.
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  • Abdul Friday, 15 May 2015 06:54 AM

    This shows sri lanka is a safe place to live. This is a good news for the true refugee and bad news for the economic migrants who target asylum in europe

    Sira Thursday, 14 May 2015 10:40 PM

    This will change the voting pattern in Sri Lanka. I thought Tamils in TN really love these people.

    Rex Thursday, 14 May 2015 10:45 PM

    Hela Urumaya what is your stand? JVP Hyenas must be waiting for their votes also.


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