22 Dec
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Refugee resources: Sri Lankan Tamils in India | Source: Thehindu

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami caused devastation in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, with over 6,000 people and thousands of livestock dead, and hundreds of acres of cultivable land wiped out. Moved by the plight of their hosts – and motivated by gratitude for years of asylum – a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee group known as the Organization for Eelam Refugee Rehabilitation (OfERR) mobilised its staff and volunteers to assist with relief and recovery in the battered coastal communities.

Sri Lankan Tamils, who arrived in Tamil Nadu in several phases, are among the oldest refugee groups in the world. Many of them began their exodus after the 1983 pogroms that killed over 3,000 Tamils in Colombo and elsewhere; subsequent batches of refugees have fled violent attacks by the government or the LTTE. Tamil Nadu is also home to stateless Indian-origin Tamils who were disenfranchised by the 1948 Ceylon Citizenship Act.