Home India Politics Indian citizenship for Tamil refugees? Jayalalitha says ‘no’

Indian citizenship for Tamil refugees? Jayalalitha says ‘no’


Chennai : Tamil Nadu opposition leader J. Jayalalitha Tuesday denounced the ruling DMK’s demand that Sri Lankan refugees in India should be given Indian citizenship.

The former chief minister said that the demand by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had “trivialized the protracted struggle of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka”.

“After having been a party to snuffing out the Tamil fight for self-determination, Karunanidhi is now trying to shed crocodile tears for the displaced Tamils,” she said in a statement.

Jayalalitha wondered what the central government would do regarding similar claims for Indian citizenship by refugees from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Tibet if the Sri Lankan Tamils were given the concession.

“Karunanidhi has been around in politics long enough to know all this. He knows that the centre will not be able to accede to his demand. Yet he has got his son to raise this issue and he has himself described the demand as extremely significant,” she said.

According to Jayalalitha, any displaced community living as refugees in another country would prefer to be rehabilitated in their own land.

“The three decades of war in Sri Lanka was for the Tamils’ right to self-determination in their own homeland,” she pointed out.

Thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils live in Tamil Nadu, on their own and in government camps. All of them fled their country to escape the war between the Tamil Tigers and the military that ended in May.