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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 113

Dr. Subramanian Sway commends JVP for taking the first step in granting citizenship to Tamil refugees in Indian camps

Colombo, 27 May, ( JVP, the Sri Lankan Marxist party, has been commended by the leader of the Janata Party, Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, for moving a motion to grant citizenship to Sri Lankan refugees In Indian camps. He has hailed it as an “act of statesmanship for which the JVP should be congratulated universally.”

Ramalingam Chandrasekeran  and  Bimal Ratnayake with Dr. Subramanian Swamy in ChennaiRamalingam Chandrasekeran and Bimal Ratnayake with Dr. Subramanian Swamy in Chennai

The motion to grant citizenship was moved by JVP MP, Ramalingam Chandrasekeran and seconded by Bimal Ratnayake. Both were in India from May 7 to 13 to take part in a summit held by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), youth organisation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Both visited the refuge camps at the invitation of OfERR, an organization of Sri Lanka refugees, headed by S.C. Chandrahasan. On their return, they made a proposal for amendment to the 2003 Citizenship Act.

Supplementary Plantation Crop Development Minister Dharmadasa Banda said there was no problem in granting them citizenship upon their return to the country.

He said if there was any legal problem, the government was ready to amend the Act.

Making this announcement in Parliament he said: "We believe [that] the Granting of Citizenship for citizens of Indian Origin Act No. 35 is sufficient. However, if some categories of people experienced difficulties in obtaining citizenship we are ready to amend the Act."

The motion said that around 28,500 people, who are living in camps for Sri Lankan refugees had not received Sri Lankan citizenship though they were entitled to it.

"In terms of the 2003 Act, children of people who have lived continuously after October 30, 1964 are entitled to Sri Lankan citizenship. But those who have had to live as refugees in Tamil Nadu owing to the situation in Sri Lanka after 1983 have not been able to meet this requirement. As a result of this, about 28,500 have not received citizenship," the motion said.
The United National Party too supported this move.

Commending this act Dr. Swamy said: “I urge the Tamil community in the island to extend those behind this move a warm hand of friendship, and to bury the past so that the scourge of terrorism and forces of disintegration can be wiped out from the nation. We in India will extend our emotional support to whoever seeks to unite the one people of Sri Lanka on the basis of equality and human rights.”

- Asian Tribune -

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