Refugees abandoned on Kachchathivu arrive in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 September 2004, 09:37 GMT]
Twenty eight Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from South India who had been abandoned in the island Kachchaithivu were brought to Jaffna Saturday. Government officials at the Jaffna District Secretariat gave the refugees money to help them return to their villages in Mannar,Mullaithivu and other parts of the Vanni. The refugees related their harrowing experience to local experience to local journalists.

The refugees were abandoned on the uninhabited Kachchathivu island on Thursday by South Indian boatmen who charge very high fares to illegally smuggle Sri Lankan Tamils in refugees camps in Tamil Nadu to the Mannar coast. Few are smuggled to the far flung islands off Jaffna.

Three of these had paddled to Delft island in an boat found abandoned on Kachchathivu. They had sought the assistance of residents of Delft (Nedunthivu) to rescue the others stranded on Kachchathivu. Delft Multi Purpose Cooperative Society then sent its boats to rescue them.

The rescued refugees were handed over to the Assistant Government Agent (AGA) of Delft Friday. The Delft AGA brought them to the Jaffna District Saturday. Individuals among the refugees were given 500 rupees (5 US Dollars) and families 1000 rupees (10 US Dollars) as assistance to return to their villages.


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