Dual citizenship for Tamil refugees is possible: TN govt

Chennai, Jan 8 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday told the Assembly that dual citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees was 'possible' and wanted the Centre to ink a pact with the island nation to facilitate it.

Raising the issue, Leader of Opposition, M K Stalin said the government has been harping on giving dual citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu and wanted to know if consultations were made with legal experts on its feasibility.

Participating in the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address, he said the annual policy document too stated that the government will strive for getting them dual citizenship.

An expert had opined that Indian citizenship was the right course for Tamil refugees since Indian laws do not recognise dual citizenship, Stalin said adding Sri Lankan laws too were on the same lines.

Minister for Tamil Official Language and Culture K Pandiarajan said the Indian government has treaties related to citizenship with France, UK, America and Germany.

'There are over one lakh Indians with dual citizenship,' he said.

To facilitate dual citizenship for Tamil refugees from the island nation, the Central government should go in for a treaty with Sri Lanka, he said.

As regards the Tamil refugees, they intend going to Sri Lanka and have properties like houses there and if they got only the Indian citizenship,'who will take care of their properties there?' he asked.

Considering such factors, late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa came up with the dual citizenship demand and it is the only way out, he said.

'Dual citizenship for Tamil refugees is possible,' he said and repeated the word possible. PTI VGN ROH ROH