19 Sri Lankans flee economic crisis, reach India after dangerous boat ride

Written By: Sidharth MP WION Web Team
Chennai, India Updated: Apr 11, 2022, 01:58 PM(IST)

The group of 19 members consists of seven women and five children. It is said that they arrived in two boats and were stuck near a point known as Arichal Munai, from where they were rescued by Tamil Nadu Coastal police and taken to Mandapam, near Rameswaram. Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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This has taken the total number of persons who fled the island and reached India via sea route to 39. Earlier, persons from the Northern part of the island nation had arrived in two groups of sixteen and four

In the largest-ever exodus of Sri Lankan nationals since the start of the economic crisis in the island nation, 19 persons arrived in Tamil Nadu's Ramanathapuram district on Sunday. 

This has taken the total number of persons who fled the island and reached India via sea route to 39. Earlier, persons from the Northern part of the island nation had arrived in two groups of sixteen and four. 

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The group of 19 members consists of seven women and five children. It is said that they arrived in two boats and were stuck near a point known as Arichal Munai, from where they were rescued by Tamil Nadu Coastal police and taken to Mandapam, near Rameswaram.

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This exodus is happening at a time when the fast-deteriorating economic and political crisis in Sri Lanka has led thousands from across the country to take to the streets in protest against the ruling Rajapaksa clan. 

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While people across sections of Lankan society are facing hardships owing to a shortage of essential commodities and widespread power cuts, it's the poor that are the worst hit owing to the skyrocketing prices and stagnant wages. For context, a cup of tea costs 100 Sri Lankan Rupees in the island nation (Equal to Indian Rs. 33).

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This has forced groups of people to sell or leave behind their belongings in the northern and northeastern parts of the island, collect some money and use it to flee to Tamil Nadu. They take immense risks crossing the Palk Strait the narrow sea lane that connects India and Sri Lanka, in the hope of being supported by the Indian authorities and being put in refugee camps. 

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