Improve camp conditions: Sri Lanka refugees

Living in congested places and having trouble with even basic necessities, refugees have been struggling for over 30 years.

Chennai: Even seven years after the end of civil war in Sri Lanka, refugees continue to remain camps in the State, as conditions have not changed much in their homeland.

Though Tamil Nadu is considered a State that had worked for the welfare of Tamil refugees, little had been done to provide a dignified life to the refugees, it is alleged. Representatives from various camps presented a memorandum to Tarun Vijay, BJP MP, who paid a visit to the city.

Living in congested places and having trouble with even basic necessities, the refugees have been struggling for over 30 years, even failing to get a SIM card for themselves, as they have no ID cards recognised by the Centre. According to a refugee, the islanders also suffer from ill treatment meted out to them by authorities at the camp. They were allegedly treated like lesser human beings as they are seen as a burden.

While there are refugees who long to go back to their homeland but cannot go as they have lost their lands or because their towns are still under army control, there are those refugees who do not want to go back.

K. Kamala Logi, a 21-year old student, is one such person, having been born and brought up in the State. She says she could be granted Indian citizenship. “ I’m still studying here and for what I have studied I might not be eligible for a job in Sri Lanka. All my friends are here and everything I have known is here, so I don’t want to get uprooted suddenly and be sent to a land I’ve never been to,” she said.

Besides a plea to improve the conditions of the camps, the refugees also requested the government to take into consideration their need for citizenship in the country.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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