TN renames SL refugee camps as rehabilitation camps

Tamil Nadu renames Sri Lankan refugee camps as rehabilitation camps

Tamils in India and Sri Lanka have shared historical and cultural ties

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. Credit: PTI Photo

Tamil Nadu government on Saturday announced that the refugee camps for Sri Lankan Tamils will be renamed as Rehabilitation Camps with Chief Minister M K Stalin asserting that his government would continue to work for their progress.

Making a statement in the Assembly, Stalin said he also used the word refugee while announcing a special package for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils in the House on Friday. 

“They are not orphans to be called refugees. We Tamils are with them and in that spirit, the government has renamed the refugee camps as rehabilitation camps for Sri Lankan Tamils,” the Chief Minister said. 

Tamils in India and Sri Lanka have shared historical and cultural ties. Thousands of Sri Lankan nationals flocked to Tamil Nadu after the civil war in the island nation intensified in 1983.

His announcement came a day after the DMK government made a slew of announcements like building over 7,000 new houses in refugee camps and free gas stoves and cylinders. 

The Chief Minister had said 58,822 refugees are lodged in 822 camps in 29 districts, while 34,087 refugees live outside the camps after duly registering with the police. He also listed the initiatives that the previous DMK governments took to protect the interests of the refugees who began flocking to India in 1983 after the civil war in Sri Lanka intensified. 

“Since many houses in the refugee camps are in bad condition, the government has decided to build 7,469 new houses at Rs 231.54 crore. In the first phase, 3,510 houses will be constructed and Rs 108.81 crore will be sanctioned for the purpose,” Stalin had said on Friday. 

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