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    Sri Lankan refugee group to return the country this week Featured

    September 25, 2016

    76Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India will arrive in Sri Lanka on 29th September under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme.One group consisting of 41persons (18 families) are scheduled to arrive from Trichy and the other group of 35 persons (13 families)  are scheduled to arrive from Chennai.

    Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs had a discussion with the UNHCR and facilitated the process and increased the baggage allowance per person with assistance of the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development, Sri Lankan Airlines. These refugee returnees will get back to Vavuniya, Mannar, Matale, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Jaffna.

    Further, the UNHCR provides free air tickets, reintegration allowance of US$ 75 per person, transport allowance US$ 19 per person and monitory non-food grant of US$ 75 per family. Since 2011, already 5035 refugees (1833 Families) have returned to Sri Lanka.

    Over 64,000 are stationed in 109 welfare camps in India. Totally, over 100,000 refugees are currently in India. Hon.D.M.Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs initiated a Cabinet paper on which livelihood assistance of a maximum Rs. 100,000 to refugee returnees is provided to support the livelihood activities.

    Further, the provision of dry rations has been already approved for 6 months. The REPPIA has been instructed by the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs to provide compensation for those who have lost their houses and suffered loss of lives of kith and kin and for injuries. Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnansothy informed that, the refugees who lost their houses will be provided with houses under the housing programme of the Ministry. The Government of Sri Lanka under the leadership of  President Maithripala Sirisena has initiated action to encourage the voluntary refugee returnee programme on a phased out basis and the current trend of increased refugee returnees is a sign of reconciliation and moving towards permanent peace said the Ministry secretary. 

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