Sri Lanka's Tamil refugees returning from India in small batches


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who fled to neighboring India to escape a brutal civil war are returning to the island on their own in small batches, a news report said Monday. 

Twenty-one refugees returned Sunday to northern Jaffna Peninsula, the traditional home of most of Sri Lanka's 3.2 million Tamils. Thirteen others returned Friday, the TamilNet Web site reported. 

"They are natives of Jaffna district and fled to south India due to military operations by Sri Lankan security forces,'' said TamilNet, which reports on Tamil affairs. 

"More Sri Lankan Tamil refugees ... are getting ready to return to Jaffna district in the coming days.'' 

Sri Lanka and India are separated by the 48-kilometer (30-mile) Park Strait. 

There are between 65,000 to 70,000 Sri Lankan refugees living in 105 camps in India's Tamil Nadu state. Some have been living there since the island's civil war started in 1983. 

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels say that the war-affected north and east needs reconstruction and only then should the refugees return. But some of the refugees have apparently ignored the rebel stand. 

The rebels, who have fought for a separate state for Tamils, pulled out of Norwegian-brokered peace talks in April, accusing the government of not doing enough to rebuild the northeast and help resettle refugees. 

The rebels want to control an interim administration in the area, which would give them legal status and allow them to accept foreign aid and help in reconstruction. 

The Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government signed a cease-fire agreement in February 2002 that halted the war, which has killed 65,000 people. 

During the peace talks, the Tigers have up their demand for an independent Tamil homeland. - AP 

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In Regional

Budget tabling could double up as confidence vote for Anwar, says Amirudin
Doctor, doctor: Identical twins graduate together with medical degrees
Chinese premier Li Keqiang congratulates Anwar on his appointment as PM
Malaysia will work with Singapore to further elevate bilateral ties, says PM
GE15: King summons all 30 Barisan MPs to Istana Negara on Nov 23 morning
BN not supporting any coalition to form the government, says Ismail Sabri
GE15 Live Updates: PM Anwar says Pakatan, BN, GPS three largest coalitions in new unity govt
EC: Pakatan Harapan has won the most seats in GE15
GE15: Anwar claims simple majority, but mum on party Pakatan is cooperating with
GE15: Perikatan can form govt with other parties, just not with Pakatan, says Muhyiddin

Others Also Read