ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Immigrants in Their Homeland-Tamil Repatriates Return from Sri Lanka

February 22, 1975 Immigrants in Their Homeland Tamil Repatriates Return from Sri Lanka RAMESWARAM, a traditional place of religious homage near the southern tip of India, is currently the scene of a new kind of pilgrimage. The "pilgrims" are the returning labourers of Indian origin recently uprooted from their jobs and residences in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka. Some time ago, by way of a combination of political expediency, economic chauvinism, and bureaucratic technicality, nearly a million of these Tamils became classified as "stateless" by the Government of Sri Lanka (a condition which the Indian Government was also willing to recognise for a time). They earned this unfortunate status in spite of the fact that many of these families had lived in Sri Lanka for generations. The story of how these people, who helped to build up the plantations which now form the backbone of Sri Lanka's economy, came to this condition, and the present means being employed to resolve their plight, forms an interesting if somewhat depressing example of the workings of a classical capitalist export economy and its inhumane by-products of human misery.

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