In an insightful article in Namathu Eelanadu monthly, titled “We Are Still Becoming Refugees: The Perpetual Struggle of Displacement,” Mr. Theepachchelvan draws attention to the ongoing challenges faced by refugees and highlights the specific plight of Sri Lankan refugees, particularly the Eelam Tamils. With International Refugee Day serving as a timely reminder, the article emphasizes the urgent need for global collaboration to address the root causes of displacement and ensure the fair treatment and safe return of refugees.
The article points out that the causes of forced displacement, such as racism, political strife, religious conflicts, violence, poverty, and unemployment, continue to fuel the refugee crisis. Despite the efforts of organizations like the United Nations and its refugee agency (UNHCR), the number of displaced individuals worldwide continues to rise. Sri Lanka, even after a decade since the end of the war, continues to experience waves of displacement due to conflicts and political pressures.
Mr. Theepachchelvan highlights the distressing situation faced by Sri Lankan refugees, including those residing in refugee camps across different countries. In Tamil Nadu, India, approximately one hundred thousand Tamil individuals seek asylum in refugee camps, while an estimated forty thousand unregistered refugees face additional hardships exacerbated by the economic crisis and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The article calls on the Tamil Nadu government to recognize these individuals as temporary refugees and provide necessary support.
The author further highlights the challenges faced by Eelam Tamils residing in Australian refugee camps, where the constant threat of deportation looms. These individuals fled their homeland due to various forms of peril, including the confiscation of their lands and belongings, leaving them stateless. The article emphasizes the impossibility of their return, given the prevailing threats and lack of a safe environment.
The article stresses that the struggle of Eelam Tamils has endured for three decades, resulting in increased numbers seeking refuge in Tamil Nadu and European countries. It emphasizes the deep yearning and dreams of Eelam Tamils for justice and the liberation of their motherland, using their refugee existence as a weapon to prevent future generations from enduring a similar fate.
Mr. Theepachchelvan’s article underscores the need for immediate action to address the plight of refugees globally. It calls for governments and societies to work together to restore refugee rights, ensure fair treatment, and create a compassionate and inclusive world where forced migration becomes a thing of the past. By recognizing and actively working towards resolving the suffering of refugees, we can move towards a future where no individual is left behind, and the devastating experience of being a refugee is eradicated.
Theepachchelvan (born 24 October 1983) is an Eelam poet, writer and freelance journalist. He has written important poems about the war in the fourth phase and continues to record the life of the wetland in his poems. Widely known at a very young age, he is considered one of the most powerful voices of our time.