Chennai: PMK Founder S.Ramadoss on Monday urged the central government to declare Sri Lankan Tamils coming to India owing to the dire economic situation in the island as refugees.
In a statement issued here, Ramadoss said owing to the economic situation in Sri Lanka, the number of Tamils from the island nation coming to Tamil Nadu is on the rise.
While the Tamil Nadu government is willing to help them with cash and other items, it is not able to do so as the central government has not announced such arrivals as refugees, Ramadoss said.
Referring to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K.Stalin's letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the Sri Lankan Tamils coming to the state as refugees, no action has been taken on that by the central government.
Till date, 75 Tamils from Sri Lanka have reached Tamil Nadu not able to bear the economic crisis in their nation. Further 60 persons who had come to India on tourist visas have announced that they will not go back due to the economic crisis.
During the internal strife in Sri Lanka, over three lakh Tamils came to Tamil Nadu and they were declared as refugees. But after the end of the internal war most of them have returned, Ramadoss said.
According to him, now only 58,547 Lankan Tamils belonging to 19,233 families are living in Tamil Nadu spread out in 108 refugee camps.
Ramadoss requested the central government to declare the Lankan Tamils coming to Tamil Nadu as refugees and allow the state government to render them assistance.