Sri Lankan Tamil refugees diaspora
Since the beginning of the Sri Lankan civil war in 1983 Sri Lankan Tamils have sought asylum all over the world, not ONLY India. In this map, you will see the different countries where Sri Lankan Tamil refugees have been given asylum.
Leading the list is indeed India, Australia and Canada are also known to be generous with providing asylum to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. In the United States, Sri Lankan Tami refugees are well settled in states such as California, New York, and also around Maryland and Washington DC.
In Europe, UK, Germany and France host most Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, closely followed by Switzerland. Other countries include, France, Norway, Sweden and Denmark
The global diaspora of Sri Lankan Tamils is an important fact to remember. However, the status of these refugees might differ between countries and people's prior socio-economic status. For instance, in the UK, there was in influx of a lot of Tamil doctors, owing to the demands, however, in France, you still see Sri Lankan Tamils, selling crepes on the street.
These days, faced with tightening borders in Australia and elsewhere, hundreds of Sri Lankan asylum seekers are instead turning to a new migration route stretching 4,000 kilometres across the Indian Ocean.
Since January 2018, at least 291 Sri Lankans have boarded fishing boats or makeshift rafts to reach the tiny French territories of La Réunion and Mayotte off the coast of Madagascar (UNHCR). However, granting them asylum has been proven to be difficult; of 70 Sri Lankans who arrived in February 2019, for example, only six were allowed in, though all asked for asylum.
A human rights group stated - ''Some people were illegally sent back without being able to appeal, without having their asylum application examined, without having been able to consult a lawyer, or without being informed of their rights"
So, the next time you spot a 'Sri Lankan Shop' in your neighbourhood, walk in, have a chat, talk to them, learn their story and let's be one with them.