Special service by Chennai consulate to facilitate returning Lankans
The office of the Deputy High Commission (DHC) of Sri Lanka in
Chennai launched a special service to provide citizenship certificates
to Sri Lankans living in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu.
The citizenship certificate and other documents such as birth
certificates, passports etc too will be issued to those who want to
return, prior to their departure to Sri Lanka, a spokesman said.
The DHC conducted a special consular service recently where
citizenship certificates were handed over to Sri Lankans living in
Gummidipoondi Camp by Deputy High Commissioner R K M A Rajakaruna.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajakaruna said: “We are holding this special
consular service to facilitate the impending return of those present
here as well as other Sri Lankan nationals living in 110 camps in Tamil
“We appreciate the cooperation and assistance of the Indian
government and the state of Tamil Nadu in this regard”.
According to the DHC, on any given day, about 100 Sri Lankans living
in Tamil Nadu come over to the Mission seeking assistance for consular
The Mission said they issue documents such as passports, birth
certificates and citizenship certificates to Lankan citizens, who are
living in the camps, without charging any statutory fees. Rajakaruna
said: “I am not aware of any other diplomatic Mission in the world
providing consular services free of charge.
This is a special arrangement by the Sri Lankan government to
facilitate the returning process”. The DHC in Chennai also intends to
provide a booklet giving information that would be helpful for
According to DHC, among the Sri Lankan children born in Tamil Nadu
refugee camps, there are thousands of births yet to be registered under
the Consular Functions Act of Sri Lanka and citizenship certificates to
Possession of such documents will help them for a smooth transition
and re-integration, once they are back in Sri Lanka.
The special consular service was held in collaboration with the
Rehabilitation Department of Tamil Nadu.