Sri Lankan repatriates' stir enters 5th day

Sri Lankan repatriates' stir enters 5th day

The indefinite protest being staged by the Tamilians’ Association demanding caste certificate and employment in Karnataka Forest Development Corporation for the descendants of repatriates from Sri Lanka settled in Sullia has entered fifth day.

Several Sri Lankan nationals have been settled down in Sullia and Puttur taluk under the bilateral agreement signed between India and Sri Lanka and are working in rubber estates of Karnataka Forest Development Corporation. However, in the recent years, the repatriates from Sri Lanka are deprived of caste certificates. The members have been staging protest against the injustice meted out at them. 

Though Assistant Labour Commissioner Nagesh visited the protesters and held talks, the labourers failed to come to any consensus. The labour leaders have warned of gheraoing the taluk office, if the authorities failed to solve the problems.

Former union minister Janardhan Poojary who had visited the protesting labourers said staging a protest with 100 people sitting around will not be of any use. “Show your strength by visiting each and every house. He asked whether the problems have been brought to the notice of the MLA and MP? The strength of Tamilians settled down in Sullia and Puttur should be made known to the elected representatives. The Congress will surely solve the problem if it comes to power in the State.”

Lankan repatriates were given the caste certificate for education purpose from 1992 to 2002. “However, after 2002, even for education purpose, we are not getting the caste certificate. We are denied of all the reservation facilities,” said the protesters.
MLA S Angara said that the government is trying to sort out the issue of providing caste certificate and employment to third generation of repatriates in the KFDC. “I have already held talks with Principal Secretary on providing employment to third generation. It has been decided to provide employment. At the same time, land has been identified in a few places in the taluk to provide housing facilities to the labourers.”