India to repatriate 58 Sri Lankan refugees





India will repatriate 58 Sri Lankan refugees on Tuesday under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme.

Quoting the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province, Colombo Page confirmed that 58 members of 23 families had left for India as refugees during the Sri Lankan civil war.

The group comprising 26 males and 32 females is scheduled to arrive at Colombo Airport in Sri Lankan Airlines flights UL 138, UL 132 and UL 122, Ministry Secretary V Sivagnanasothy was quoted as saying.

The refugees will be resettled in Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Colombo.

The UNHCR has been providing free air tickets, reintegration allowance of (Sri Lankan Rupee) Rs10,000 per adult or Rs 5,000 per non-adult, Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000 and non-food allowance of Rs 10,000 to the families of the Sri Lankan refugees.

In addition, Sri Lankan ministry will provide refugees Rs 5,000 each at the airport, Rs 25,000 to construct a temporary shelter, Rs 3,000 for equipment and Rs 5,000 for land clearance, Sivagnanasothy noted.

The refugees would also be given special consideration when selecting for livelihood programmes and housing items, the ministry added.

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