83 SL refugees return from India

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Under the guidance of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 83 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, who had fled the country during the wartime, have returned from Chennai, India yesterday (31).

Issuing a press release, the Prime Minister’s Media said the government is committed to taking every necessary measure to establish peace and reconciliation among every Sri Lankan, and accordingly, all citizens who fled the country during the wartime are openly invited to return home.

The UNHCR has volunteered to facilitate the return of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. Since 2009, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, 11,020 in number, who had been sheltered in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu, have voluntarily returned to the country thus far and 3815 more refugees have expressed their desire to return to Sri Lanka.

The government would take necessary steps to resettle the returned refugees in their respective residential areas such as Vavuniya, Mannar, Matale, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Jaffna, the release further said.

The UNHCR would provide the refugees with free air tickets to return home and the government would grant dry rations and livelihood subsidy of Rs 100,000 for six months, according to the release.