Friday, September 18, 2020

Ramadoss urges Centre to operate more flights for Tamils stranded in foreign countries

Chennai: PMK leader S Ramadoss on Friday criticised the Centre for discriminating Tamil people stranded in foreign countries and urged it to operate more flights to Gulf countries to repatriate them.

Around 68,000 Tamils are stranded in Gulf countries and other Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, and Thailand, he said, citing Union minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan’s statement at the parliament.

The minister stated that the government's Vande Bharat mission launched on May 7 helped 13 lakh Indian citizens stranded in foreign countries, of which 85,348 were Tamils. He added that the mission by Air India and other Indian airlines enters phase VI and is supplemented with charters and air bubble arrangements in nine countries.

A total of 1,35,313 Tamils registered from 13 countries expressing their willingness to return home. Among them, there were 66,267 registrations from the UAE, 14,000 from Saudi Arabia, and 13,366 from Qatar. A total of 25,572 people from the UAE, 6,500 from Saudi Arabia and 7,300 from Qatar returned home, while the rest have been unable to reach India.

Quoting the ministers reply, Ramadoss said most of the Indian citizens from other states have reached adding that, "Only those from Tamil Nadu remain stranded. It was not right to show discrimination against Tamils".

18/09/20 Shanmughasundaram/Times of India

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