Feb 01, Colombo: Over 80 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from various camps in Tamil Nadu have voluntarily returned to Sri Lanka with the assistance of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), authorities said.
A group of 83 Sri Lankan Tamils who had fled the country during the war and lived in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu has arrived in the island yesterday (January 31).
The Prime Ministerís Media Office in a statement said the government is committed to taking all necessary measures to build peace and reconciliation among every Sri Lankan, and accordingly, invited all citizens who fled the country during the wartime to return home.
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.
According to the statement, 11,020 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, who had been sheltered in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu, have voluntarily returned to the country so far since 2009 and 3,815 more refugees have expressed their desire to return to Sri Lanka under the patronage of the UNHCR. The UN agency has provided the refugees with air fare and several allowances.
The allowances given for the returning refugees include an allowance of Rs 10,000 per person over 18 years and Rs. 7,500 for a person under the age of 18 for reintegration, Transport allowance of Rs. 2,500 per person, personal allowance of Rs. 5,000 per person and Rs. 5,000 allowance for family on arrival.