Chennai, June 25: Sri Lanka's minister for rehabilitation, resettlement and refugees, Jayalath Jayawardene, arrived here today to discuss with chief minister Jayalalithaa the possible repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu.
He is scheduled to meet Jayalalithaa tomorrow to discuss the issue in view of the prevailing peace in Sri Lanka. During his visit he is also expected to meet officials of the UNHCR, immigration authorities and the state police, official sources said.
An estimated 1,00,000 refugees, including about 66,000 residing in government refugee camps, are living in the state. Most had crossed the Palk Straits to escape the civil war that broke out after the 1983 anti-Tamil ethnic riots.
Jayawardene's visit is a follow up to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's visit and meeting with Jayalalithaa.
UNHRC's office here, with over 600 requests from refugees in government camps, has selected only 85 for immediate repatriation in small batches