Talks to repatriate Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu
The government will initiate bi-lateral consultations with India
shortly with regard to the issue of repatriating Sri Lankan refugees in
The National Action Plan to implement the LLRC recommendations, has
backed formulating a policy and initiated a bilateral discussion in
support of the LLRC recommendation 9.108 which said, ‘Initiate a formal
bi-lateral consultation process to enable displaced persons to take
considered decisions with regard to their return to Sri Lanka’.
The report which was released last week having received Cabinet
approval was issued to the media on Thursday.
India still holds a significant number of Sri Lankans in camps in
Tamil Nadu. The UNHCR last year estimated that 70,000 people were living
in camps in India.
The External Affairs, Defence, Resettlement and Lands Ministries have
been entrusted with formulating a policy with regard to refugees while
Defence and External Affairs Ministries will hold bi-lateral
The UN refugee agency facilitated the first batch of refugees, 37
members of 15 families, who arrived here in a commercial ferry from
South India in October last year. They arrived in Colombo after an
overnight voyage from the Tuticorin port.
Earlier, the UNHCR brought down nearly 1,500 displaced persons by
air. Those who returned have been settled in the North and the East as
well as Colombo, Kandy and Matale.