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No food and jobs, Sri Lankan refugees reach Tamil Nadu coast

No food and jobs, Sri Lankan refugees reach Tamil Nadu coast

Chennai: A silent refugee crisis is churning in India's neighbour to the south, Sri Lanka with people beginning to flee the spiraling economic crisis in the Island nation.

Signaling at mass exodus in the days to come, 16 Sri Lankan nationals from the Jaffna and Mannar regions to the north embraced Indian shores in two batches, according to Indian Express.

The all-Tamil group reached Tamil Nadu the other day after the first set of 6 refugees, including 3 children, got stranded near the coast of Rameswaram whom Coast Guard rescued. The second group of ten reached late in the night.

Sri Lanka is facing severe food shortage, unemployment, closure of work, and rocking prices for essential commodities and authorities are reportedly clueless as to putting a sense of order to the nation.

This could be the beginning of more refugees from the northern Tamil-dominated regions of Lanka. At least 2000 refugees are likely to shore up in Tamil Nadu in the coming days, the report sourcing Intelligence officers said.

The six of those first arrived told police that they were struggling for food for several weeks. They paid fishermen around Rs 50,000 to drop them off the island Arichal Munai within Indian waters.

An official who listened to the refugees reportedly said many more families are finding ways to flee to India. Rescuing them from Indian waters, officials gave them food and shifted them to the Mandapam refugee camp near Rameswaram," the report said.

The second group travelled on a fibre boat shelling out Rs 3 lakh for the trip; on the way the boat developed technical issues and they spent nearly a day mid-sea before reaching the Pamban bridge in Rameswaram around 9 pm.

Activist VS Sivakaran has told Indian Express that many he knows are planning to leave Sri Lanka. There is panic and anxiety in the nation. He reasoned that prices of essentials commodities are rocketing, for instance rice in another week will touch Rs 500/kg, where it is today sold Rs 290/kg, and it costs exactly the same price for sugar. 400 grams of milk powder costs Rs 790.

The Sri Lankan government postponed school exams due to paper shortage. According to Suresh Premachandran of Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) the working class are facing the heat.

The day after President had said about approaching International Monetary Fund, India on March 17 offered a $1-billion credit facility to Sri Lanka.

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TAGS:Sri Lankan refugees 
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