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Tamil refugees return to find army assisting southern settlers in homes says Wigneswaran

Eelam refugees who have returned from India after years of displacement to find the Sri Lankan army assisting settlers from the South to live in their homes, the chief minister of the northern province, C V Wigneswaran warned.

"When those in possession of land permits visit their lands, they find that people from southern parts of the country have occupied their properties. They are also accusing the Army of supporting such occupants,” Mr Wigneswaran was quoted by The Hindu as saying at a gathering near Vavuniya last Thursday. 

"Those who have returned from India are saying that they have not received any aid from the government or non-governmental organisations," he added.

Highlighting pervasive discrimination, Mr Wigneswaran also said that "children of the refugees who were born in India were encountering difficulties in getting government jobs in Sri Lanka, despite having the necessary educational qualifications".

He called for a rehabilitation scheme to be established allowing returning refugees to be given livelihood assistance until they were able to be secure employment.

Almost 200 families displaced from the North-East have been housed in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu, some for over 20 years.