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Eelam Tamil refugees welcome prospect of Indian citizenship citing ongoing risk in Sri Lanka

Rajapayalam refugee camp. Photograph: CC BY-SA 3.0

Tamil refugees who fled Sri Lanka and sought asylum in Tamil Nadu, India have welcomed efforts to grant them citizenship in the country, stating the risk to Tamils continued on the island. 

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) pledged in its election manifesto published earlier this month it would seek citizenship for Eelam Tamil refugees, alongside the release of those convicted of Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. 

"There are still problems related to rehabilitation and security to Tamilians living in Sri Lanka. Rehabilitation process has not been completed yet. Many of us are willing to stay back in here in India and get rid of the refugee tag given to us," one refugee at Mandapam camp in Rameswaram was quoted by ANI as saying. 

"Stalin has announced citizenship for us. This brings happiness to us because we want to live here," another remarked. 

Tamil Nadu elections for parliamentary constituencies will take place on April 18. 

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