COLOMBO, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Another group of 76 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees currently living in South India are scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka under a UN facilitated voluntary repatriation program, the Sri Lankan government said on Friday.
The refugees will arrive in two batches on Thursday Sept. 29, one consisting 41 persons and the other 35 persons.
Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M.Swaminathan had a discussion with the UN refuges agency UNHCR and facilitated the process and increased the baggage allowance per person.
V. Sivagnanasothy, secretary to the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs said that of the 76 refugee returnees 41 are males and 35 are females. These refugee returnees will get back to Vavuniya, Mannar, Matale, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Jaffna.
Swaminathan initiated a cabinet paper recently on which livelihood assistance is provided to support the livelihood activities of the refugees.
Further, the provision of dry ration has already been approved for six months. Sivagnansothy said that the refugees who lost their houses will be provided with houses under the housing program of the ministry.
Sivagnanasothy said the government of Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena has initiated action to encourage the voluntary refugee returnee program on a phased out basis and the current trend of increased refugee returnees is a sign of reconciliation and moving towards permanent peace.