Madurai

Eight more Sri Lankan nationals arrive at Rameswaram, count crosses 100

After questioning the fresh batch of eight Sri Lankan Tamils who reached Arichalmunai seashore in Dhanushkodi on July 5, 2022, the Mandapam Marine police accommodated them at the Mandapam Rehabilitation Camp

After questioning the fresh batch of eight Sri Lankan Tamils who reached Arichalmunai seashore in Dhanushkodi on July 5, 2022, the Mandapam Marine police accommodated them at the Mandapam Rehabilitation Camp | Photo Credit: BALACHANDAR L

Eight Sri Lankan nationals, including an 18-month-old baby, arrived at Aruchalmunai in Rameswaram in the early hours of Tuesday.

With this, the total number of Sri Lankans, who have reached Tamil Nadu due to economic crisis, has crossed 100.

The police said they belonged to three different families in Jaffna and paid ₹5 lakh to a fibre boat operator for reaching Rameswaram. The Coastal Security Group police have taken them into custody.

The police identified them as B. Kamalarani, 42, B. Iynkaren, 19, B. Sreeram, 14, B. Nilani, 9, D. Lavendern, 24, L. Sasikala, 24, L. Kathir, 18 months, and S. Selvaraja Vijayakanth, 33.

A fresh batch of eight Sri Lankan Tamils of three families, including women and children arrived at Arichalmunai seashore in Dhanushkodi in the wee hours on July 5, 2022 seeking refuge in view of the severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka. 

A fresh batch of eight Sri Lankan Tamils of three families, including women and children arrived at Arichalmunai seashore in Dhanushkodi in the wee hours on July 5, 2022 seeking refuge in view of the severe economic crisis in Sri Lanka.  | Photo Credit: BALACHANDAR L

Narrating their ordeals in the island nation, Ms. Sasikala said the common man was suffering without food, medicine and fuel. She said 1 kg rice cost ₹400. "We are given only 2 litres of kerosene for each family card. We got only 10 kg of rice that was given by India," she said.

Even for the 2 litres of kerosene, people had to wait for six days in queue. "We cannot go and sleep at the petrol bunk leaving our children at home, for the kerosene," Ms. Sasikala said.

Small industries were hit hard without power supply. “We don’t get electricity for five to six hours a day,” she added.

Those who owned boats were not able to go for fishing due to non-availability of fuel. The cost of fishes had also peaked.

"Even when we go for treatment in government hospitals, the doctors give us prescription asking us to buy medicines at private pharmacies as the hospitals do not have drugs," she said.

People who had lost their livelihood faced with a new problem. "We hear that children who go out for tuition are being kidnapped. We have more fear now," she said.

With no food, the families had been trying hard for the last four months to flee the nation.

The family members were taken to an unidentified island in Sri Lanka by a boatman before taking them to India. "We suffered injuries as we had to trek through thorny jungle," she said.

Meanwhile, one of the Sri Lankan nationals, P. Parameswari, 70, who was found lying unconscious near Kothandaramar temple on June 27, died at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai on July 2. Her husband, S. Periyannan, 82, too was hospitalised.


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Printable version | Jul 5, 2022 12:38:02 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/eight-more-sri-lankan-nationals-arrive-at-rameswaram-after-undergoing-a-hard-time/article65601924.ece