More than 1,600 Sri Lankan Tamils living in Tamil Nadu as refugees have returned to their country so far since January 2012, stated the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“So far nobody had complained to us about ‘safety’ as a reason for not returning to their country,” an official said.
Officials of the UNHCR, who have their field office in the city, said that about 1,264 Sri Lankan Tamils, who were living in special camps across the State, had returned through voluntary repatriation to their country between January and December 2012.
This year, about 350 refugees have returned so far. In Chennai there are two open refugees’ camps – in Gummidipoondi and Puzhal.
The UNHCR also conducts checks for the safety of the refugee back in his country. “Once a person expresses his willingness to return and applies to us, we check if the place they want to settle is safe. We also do random monitoring of these people after they return. But if they face any trouble upon their return, they get back to us,” quoting an official the New Indian Express reported.