The advisory council constituted by the Tamil Nadu government to ascertain the living conditions and other details of Sri Lankan Tamils living inside and outside of camps will conduct a survey on the Sri Lankan Tamils who require Indian citizenship. A decision to this effect was taken during a meeting of the council held during the last week of December, 2021, sources in the council told IANS. The advisory council, constituted after the Chief Minister had promised in the Assembly to study the details of Sri Lankan Tamils, would be conducting the survey soon within and outside the camps.
According to a study by the Tamil Nadu government, as of July 1, 2021, there are 58,668 persons from 18,937 families living inside the refugee camps for Sri Lankan Tamils constituted by the Tamil Nadu government over the years. The study also revealed that there are 34,123 persons of Sri Lankan origin living outside the camp from 13,553 families.
Sources in the advisory council informed IANS that after the survey results are obtained, the state government would request the Union Home Ministry to consider the case of the Sri Lankan Tamils and press for making necessary provisions in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 to facilitate Indian citizenship for them.
Chennai North MP and member of advisory council Kalanidhi Veeraswamy told IANS: "We will be writing to the Union Home Ministry and to the State government on the number of Sri Lankan Tamils who have arrived in the country since Independence and also seek details on the number of them who have got Indian citizenship."
The Member of Parliament said that there were suggestions on categorising the Tamils who have arrived from Sri Lanka under multiple divisions like those who reached after the Sirimavo -Shastri pact and those who reached after the Sirimavo- Gandhi pact, those who have reached Indian shores during the war between the rebel forces and Sri Lankan Government and also children of those persons who were born in Tamil Nadu.
Kalanidhi Veeraswamy said: "There is a need to reach out to all of them and to find out what all documents they have in their possession and to evolve policies based on these facts and then to press the Home Ministry as well as the state government."