Over 600 Sri Lankan Tamils have perished in the Indian Ocean sailing from the south Indian coast in sea-unworthy boats for greener pastures in Australia and Canada, quoting from reliable statistics, the Asian Age reports.
The OfERR has taken care of the thousands of the Tamil refugees who fled from the war zone in north Lanka since early 80s.
“Families of these missing people have approached us pleading for help to locate them. The situation is tragic and hopeless. It is also hugely embarrassing because these boat people have been tutored by their unscrupulous agents to tell the Australian authorities that they were being treated very badly in the Indian refugees camps and so they had to flee to seek asylum, whereas the truth is that the Indian and Tamil Nadu governments have done a lot for us”, says Chandrahasan, whose father was the iconic Tamil leader in Sri Lanka known as Eezha Thanthai Chelva. “And a recent boat seizure found some Afghans too among the Sri Lankan Tamils”, he adds.
The Lankan Tamils have been undertaking hugely risky journeys, by land and by sea, for several decades in search of better living in Europe, Canada, Australia and other developed countries.
The boat people mostly reached Christmas Island off Australia via Malaysia and Indonesia but the latest favourite has been Cocco Islands since it is the nearest destination from the Indian coast and falls under Australian jurisdiction.