Sri Lanka assures Indian parliamentary delegation on Tamil refugees resettlement

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Chennai, Oct 15 (ANI): The resettlement of Tamil refugees would begin soon, Sri Lanka has assured an Indian parliamentary delegation.

The ten-member delegation, led by former Union Minister T R Baalu, includes MPs from the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK), the Congress and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK returned on Wednesday after their four-day visit to the island nation.

They met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and asked status of rehabilitation of 260,000 Tamil refugees being held in camps since the end of the war with the Tamil Tiger separatists in May.

"We have been given assurance that in the first phase more than 58,000 Tamilians would be sent to their respective villages within 15 days and the rest would be gradually resettled in their native place," said State Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

"Sri Lankan government has not given any time-frame as such but they promised to start the process within 15 days," said DMK leader Kanimozhi.

Around 300,000 Sri Lankan Tamils were displaced in the final months of the offensive to wipe out the Tamil Tigers rebels, which ended on May 18.

The Sri Lankan Government had announced that it would resettle at least 80 per cent of the displaced people by the end of the year.

The United Nations, Indian and the Western Governments have urged Sri Lanka to let Tamil refugees return to their homes quickly. (ANI)

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