STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Sri Lankan economic crisis: Sixteen seek refuge in Tamil Nadu

According to police, another set of 10 Sri Lankan Tamils were held at Palam near Dhanushkodi later in the day.

Published: 23rd March 2022 05:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2022 03:51 PM   |  A+A-

The refugees stranded on a sandbar off Dhanushkodi were rescued on Tuesday. (Photo| EPS)

The refugees stranded on a sandbar off Dhanushkodi were rescued on Tuesday. (Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

RAMANATHAPURAM: The economic crisis in Sri Lanka seems to have triggered a new refugee crisis as six Lankan Tamils, including three children, who fled the island nation and were stranded on a sandbar off Dhanushkodi were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) personnel early on Tuesday. 

According to police, another set of 10 Sri Lankan Tamils were held at Palam near Dhanushkodi later in the day. The group of two men, three women, three girls and two boys was taken to the Dhanuskodi Marine police station. Indian Coast Guard and Q-branch sleuths are questioning them. 

The first group of refugees was identified as Gajendran (24), his wife Mary Clarin (23), and their four-month-old child Nisanth from Jaffna; and Tiori (28) and her two children Esthar (9) and Moses (6) from Kokupadaiyan. 

According to Tiori, gas cylinder price has increased from SLR (Sri Lankan Rupee) 1,900 to 4,000 and price of rice is up from SLR 130 to 230 per kg. A single egg costs SLR 35. (One Sri Lankan Rupee is equal to 0.27 Indian Rupee). 

“We could not find any jobs, and our wages, too, were falling. As the economic hardship was too much to bear, we decided to flee to India,” Gajendran told reporters after the coast guard interrogated them at Mandapam.  Gajendran, a former inmate of a refugee camp in Erode, had returned to Sri Lanka just a year ago.  

According to a statement, an ICG team rescued the Lankan Tamils from fourth island, Rameshwaram, after it got information from Q Branch police. ICGS, Mandapam, launched a hovercraft and at 10.30am they located the refugees. Sources said they left Peshalai in Sri Lanka at 10.30pm on Monday on a fishing boat and landed on the fourth island at 01.30 am on Tuesday. The refugees are now under the custody of Coastal Security Group, Mandapam and will be booked under the Passports Act. 

"It is not the Sri Lanka we know. Being a widow, life has become much harder for me; I was struggling to raise my two children. We do not know who brought us here, we just boarded a boat and we were brought here," Tiori said. 



Comments(1)

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • B S MANI

    Is the issue only with Tamils? And why India? Do they feel they will get free food and peace of mind? Then
    3 months ago reply
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp