In the ongoing internecine civil war in Sri Lanka, issues related to repatriation of thousands of displaced Tamilians residing in refugee camps (103 in total) in Tamil Nadu and Orissa are often ignored. While India bound under Indo-Sri Lanka agreements of 1964, 1974 and 1986 has accepted repatriation and granted citizenship to about 506,000 persons up to December 2005, the Sri Lankans remain non- committal to millions of their Tamil nationals that have crossed the Palk Straits illegally. Apart from causing severe pressure to local employment and demography, these migrations have been a severe drain to the economy. Officially, the Government of India has spent close to Rs.3.5 billion in providing relief.
It is important that the ongoing negotiations for finding lasting solutions for Sri Lankan crisis do not ignore core fundamentals related to the plight of these stranded nationals. They have been for long considered to be the part of the problem, it's high time when their plight be considered for the solution.