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Sri Lankan refugees flowing into India
January 28, 2006 18:09 IST
With 54 Sri Lankan Tamils arriving in Rameshwaram on Saturday, the number of refugees, who have come into the country since January 12, has risen to 289, official sources said.
Saturday's batch of refugees from the island nation was the largest in over two weeks, the sources said, adding that all of them had been lodged in the Mandapam transit camp.
Some of the Sri Lankan Tamils, who arrived on Saturday, said they were 'second-time refugees.' They said the situation in the peninsula was tense with both the Sri Lankan Army and the Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam 'flexing their muscles.'
Meanwhile, some of the Sri Lankan Tamils, who had been lodged at the Thiruvathavur camp near Rameshwaram since 1983, said they did not want to return as they had got 'accustomed to this country.'
"Only if the situation really returned to normal can we think of going back," said Mahadevi, a Sri Lankan Tamil from Killinochi.
Satheeshan, a 15-year-old boy, who grew up in Rameshwaram, said this was his hometown, though his parents belonged to Sri Lanka. "I have got many friends here. How can I leave them and go," he quips.