July 06 (NIE) A day after the Sri Lankan government declared a ‘holiday week’ for the schools in the island nation owing to an unending fuel crisis, eight Lankan Tamils, including three children, arrived at Dhanushkodi seeking refuge in the morning hours of Tuesday. The number of refugees reaching TN shores in the last three months has gone up to 103.
The Marine police secured the group from Arichal Munai in Dhanushkodi and shifted them to the marine police station in Rameswaram for inquiries. They were later lodged at the Mandapam camp.
The eight refugees were identified as B Kamalarani (42), her children Iynkaren (19), Sreeram (14) and Nilani (9) of Valvettithurai area in the Jaffna region; Lavendern (24), his wife Sasikala (24) and their one-and-a-half-year-old son Kathir, and Selvaraja Vijayakanth (33) from Jaffna.
They reportedly paid around 1 lakh Sri Lankan rupees to a boat owner to ferry them to India.
Addressing media persons, Sasikala said, "The economic crisis has led to severe inflation in our country. We have to wait for over four days at fuel stations to get even two litres of kerosene. Owing to fuel shortages, most fishermen are not able to venture out to sea. Even government hospitals have run out of medicines. In recent times, the instances of girl children going missing has also increased. In such a situation, how could we stay back in Sri Lanka?"
PMK, MDMK hit out at Sri Lanka over arrests
The MDMK and PMK on Tuesday condemned the Sri Lankan government for arresting fishermen from Tamil Nadu.
MDMK general secretary Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko said that despite India extending its full support to Sri Lanka amid the island nation’s economic crisis, the neighbouring country continues to hunt Indian fishermen.
PMK president Dr Anbumani Ramadoss urged the State and Union governments to get the arrested fishermen released