Nation Current Affairs 20 May 2019 10 years after Eelam ...

10 years after Eelam War: ‘We are still refugees, say SL Tamils

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SP LOGANATHAN
Published May 20, 2019, 1:16 am IST
Updated May 20, 2019, 1:56 am IST
Sri Lankan Tamil refugee at the main Mandapam camp near here on Sunday, disapproving the Island-Government’s “celebration” of this day to mark its military victory.
 Sri Lankan Tamil refugee at the main Mandapam camp near here on Sunday, disapproving the Island-Government’s “celebration” of this day to mark its military victory.

RAMESWARAM: “Ten years have gone by since the Sri Lankan Armed forces vanquished the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but we are still refugees with no equal citizenship rights,” lamented Vishwanathan, a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee at the main Mandapam camp near here on Sunday, disapproving the Island-Government’s “celebration” of this day to mark its military victory.

“For the Sri Lankan Tamils and Tamils in other parts of the world, this day (May 19) is a painful reminder of the anguish of the Tamils and an occasion to condemn the genocide that was then perpetuated by the Sri Lankan Army,” Vishwanathan rued, echoing the sentiments of the Island-Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu.

“It was not a military victory (for the Sri Lankan government) but genocide against the Tamils there, if you recall the plight of three lakh innocent Tamils who had moved out of Mullivaikal then and were at the mercy of the Sri Lankan Army,” he recalled. In the last ten years after the cessation of the civil war, “we still have not got justice; we have no equal citizenship rights, we continue to be stateless people, living as refugees,” he said summing up the mood in the Mandapam camp. The Island-government “celebrating” this day was uncalled for, he added.

Sharing similar sentiments at the Mandapam refugee camp was Nagamuthu Kumar: “Since the Sri Lankan government announced the final defeat of the LTTE this day in 2009 in the last days of the civil war, till now there has been no change in our position. They assured elected provincial governments would be in place, but only ethnic hatred is on the rise. There is no economic development, we are unable to trace our lost relatives and there is no security for the Tamils yet,” he cried. Hence for the SL government to gloat over this day as victory day is unacceptable, Nagamuthu Kumar added.

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