Agreement On Persons Of Indian Origin In Ceylon

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Decades ago, the majority of Tamils applied for Sri Lankan cit­i­zen­ship after the signing of the two agree­ments. Many have been repa­tri­ated to India. But now, more than 50 years later, their old fears have been revived. 9. The gov­ern­ments of both coun­tries sin­cerely hope that the above-​​mentioned steps, within the planned time frame of 2 years, will sig­nif­i­cantly solve the problem of Ceylon res­i­dents of Indian origin by reg­is­tering either as cit­i­zens of Ceylon or as Indian cit­i­zens. At the end of this period, and when the reg­is­tra­tions are com­pleted under Indian and Pak­istani (cit­i­zen­ship) laws, the posi­tion will be reviewed to deter­mine what fur­ther mea­sures may be needed to address any out­standing backlog issues. Since 1964, there have been [n]eociations with India on the repa­tri­a­tion of state­less Tamils of Indian origin who live in the cen­tral region of tea plan­ta­tions and who had been brought to the island under British colo­nial rule (they are dif­ferent from sri Lankan Tamils living in the north and north­east). In 1985, India granted cit­i­zen­ship to 600,000 people, while Sri Lanka agreed to take in the remaining 469,000 cit­i­zens. In April 1989, the Sri Lankan gov­ern­ment granted the right to vote to 320,000 of these Tamils” (1992, 2529).

5. Since there seemed to be a fun­da­mental dif­fer­ence in the two coun­tries‘ approach to the problem of the status of per­sons of Indian origin residing in Ceylon, it was decided that the prac­tical course was to iden­tify this dif­fer­ence and to con­tinue as soon as pos­sible the two reg­is­tra­tion processes as a cit­izen of Ceylon or as an Indian citizen.

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