Scores of Sri Lankan refugees living in various camps in Virudhunagar district on Monday submitted separate petitions seeking Indian citizenship to Collector A. Sivagnanam.
Stating that they had lived most pat of their life in India, the refugees said they did not have the economic wherewithal to set up their life and livelihood on returning to the island nation.
Over 3,200 refugees, who fled their war-torn nation in 1990s, live in seven refugee camps in the district.
On Monday, they came en masse to the Collectorate with a petition containing the single demand after Friday’s Madras High Court order permitting 65 Tamils from Sri Lanka to submit fresh application for citizenship to the the Collector concerned.
“About16,000 children born to Sri Lankan refugees in India are stateless since they do not have Sri Lankan citizenship and enjoy a mere refugee status.”
Many of us who never physically crossed any borders were yet born as refugees, asylum seekers and stateless people in foreign countries, as was I. Unlike me, however, most of these children will remain stateless for much of their life, if not all of it. For some it may take ten years, for others it may take a whole life to become ‘human’.
The old adage says that a ‘picture tells a thousand words’. And by using just two satellite images from Google Earth, taken two months apart, a citizen journalist has been able to tell the story of the end of Sri Lanka’s 25-year civil war.