More refugees in India get Sri Lankan citizenship

The Sri Lankan deputy high commission in Chennai disbursed citizenship certificates to 130 refugees, birth certificates to 59 and passports to 60 others yesterday.

According to a report on the Times of India the Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner R K M A Rajakaruna promised the refugees a new life in Sri Lanka.

“The military presence in north has been reduced drastically. Soldiers are not there at every house or under every tree as claimed by anti-Sri Lanka elements,” he said.

Rajakaruna said his government was taking efforts for rebuilding and national reconciliation through programmes, like ‘Kilakkin Udhyam’ (Eastern Reawakening) in the Eastern Province, ‘Vadakkin Vasantham’ (Northern Spring) in the Northern Province. Tamil dominated provinces have seen a growth rate of 22% to 27% in the last two years. The deputy high commission also released a film on reconstruction and resettlement.

Organization for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation founder Chandrahasan said a lot of misinformation was doing the rounds, making refugees, who wanted to return, apprehensive. “Livelihood is a major concern, but our people have great resilience and ability and this was proved by the way they tackled difficulties,” he said.

Sri Lanka has to sign an MoU with India on sending back Lankan refugees, besides doing away with a fee for getting birth and registration certificates for refugees, who are above 18 years of age, he said.