Sri Lanka’s Election Commissioner has proposed voting rights for the Sri Lankan refugees who are living in India. Speaking to the press in Colombo, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that if Parliament passes a Bill to remove the legal barriers, arrangements can be put in place to allow the refugees in Tamil Nadu to vote from the city where they are residing.
Sri Lanka’s Election Commissioner said that the Department will seek help from the Indian government to put in place a mechanism for refugees to cast their votes in India. There are nearly one lakh Sri Lankans living in South India who were displaced by the 30-year long civil war that ended in 2009. About 60,000 of them live in refugee camps while others are in private accommodation. These refugees have so far refused to return to Sri Lanka citing livelihood constraints.