Centre studying Resident status for Tamils

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on granting permanent resident status to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu is under the Centre’s consideration, P. Chidambaram, Union Home Minister, said on Saturday.

Mr. Chidambaram, who called on the Chief Minister at his residence, was responding to a reporter’s query regarding the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s resolution adopted at the party conference last week in Kancheepuram that over one lakh Tamil refugees living in different camps of Tamil Nadu be allowed to become permanent residents.

[According to a senior official, the Chief Minister had written to Dr. Singh that the stay of the refugees be “legally regularised.”]

On the question of sending a delegation of Members of Parliament to Sri Lanka, Mr. Chidambaram replied that the there was such an idea, which was also being examined.

The Union Minister, who held nearly 30-minute meeting with Mr. Karunanidhi, said the issue of measures to be taken up for the return of internally-displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka from camps to their homes came up at the meeting and Mr Karunanidhi made certain suggestions. A decision on the next course of action would be taken after External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna discussed the matter with the Prime Minister.