Ramanathapuram, India: Many Sri Lankan refugees in camps at Ramanathapuram are seeking exit permits and funds from the government to return to their motherland at the earliest. Following the end of the war in Lanka, the internally displaced persons staying in various camps in that country are being sent to their native places. Therefore, many inmates of the Mandapam transit camp are anxious to return.
The United Nations Commission for Refugees was arranging for the repatriation of refugees after getting clearance from the government. However, it will undertake the repatriation of families and not individuals. Therefore, individuals anxious to go to Lanka to study the ground realities there before taking their families are expecting government assistance.
They need funds to meet their travelling expenses and also exit permit to proceed. Mandapam camp authorities told Express that the refugees had to wait for three months to get exit permits. ‘Q’ branch and other agencies should clear their applications before giving the exit permit.
So far, 169 refugees have returned to Lanka this year. Their numbers would increase if the government came forward to bear their travelling expenses. (Express Buzz)
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