Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Tamil Nadu government unveils a set of welfare measures for Eelam Tamil refugees

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin unveiled a host of welfare benefits for Eelam Tamil refugees in a speech delivered to the legislative assembly on Friday. The measures range from establishing new settlements and upgrading existing dwellings to scholarships for students of Eelam Tamil origin. 

At a total cost of 3.17 billion Indian rupees (£3.1 million), the welfare benefits include a rise in monthly payment provided to Eelam Tamils in refugee camps, renovation of existing dilapidated settlements, provision of greater access to gas cylinders and other essentials, scholarships for students pursuing a degree in engineering and other skill development programs.

In addition, Stalin announced that a committee will be set up to examine the question of citizenship for Eelam Tamils based in the state. 

The Chief Minister also reaffirmed the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK) commitment to Eelam Tamils and touted the benefit program as a measure to “wipe their tears.” 

This announcement comes days after more than fifteen Eelam Tamil refugees in the notorious Trichy Special Camp attempted suicide following the failure of repeated attempts to secure their release. 

The welfare program was greeted with approval as an unprecedented move towards improving the lot of Eelam Tamils who are spread across Tamil Nadu in more than 100 refugee camps and outside. 

Naam Tamilar Katchi chief Seeman tweeted his thanks to Stalin on announcing the set of benefits and urged him to take action to settle all Eelam Tamils outside refugee camps and create a “camp-free Tamil Nadu.” 

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.