Journal Article

“Rather Than Talking in Tamil, They Should Be Talking to Tamils”: Sri Lankan Tamil Refugee Readiness for Repatriation

Miriam George, Wendy Kliewer and Sebastan Irudaya Rajan

in Refugee Survey Quarterly

Published on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Volume 34, issue 2, pages 1-22
Published in print June 2015 | ISSN: 1020-4067
Published online April 2015 | e-ISSN: 1471-695X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rsq/hdv004
“Rather Than Talking in Tamil, They Should Be Talking to Tamils”: Sri Lankan Tamil Refugee Readiness for Repatriation

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  • Human Rights and Immigration
  • Human Geography
  • International Relations
  • Aid and Relief Programmes
  • Refugee Studies

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Following the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India are being expected to repatriate to their home country. Although voluntary repatriation has long been seen as the most effective and durable response to forced displacement, it can only be carried out by obtaining informed consent from refugees. This study examined Sri Lankan Tamil refugees’ readiness, support, concerns, resources, and strategies for repatriation. We found that participants were appreciative of the Indian Government’s support, but the Sri Lankan Government’s lack of a concrete repatriation plan was concerning. Lack of resources and infrastructure development, and lack of interventions to address intergenerational conflict are the main repatriation challenges identified by participants. Study implications for policy, practice, and research are also discussed. The study recommends an enhanced effort to restore the trust between State and citizens which is vital for a successful implementation of repatriation to Sri Lanka.

Keywords: Repatriation; Sri Lankan Tamil refugees; Indian refugee camp; community readiness

Journal Article.  9718 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration ; Human Geography ; International Relations ; Aid and Relief Programmes ; Refugee Studies

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