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Tamil The Camp

News of wild elephants going on a rampage on agricultural fields and attacking humans are quite common in different parts of India. No wonder with the increasing human population, the wild elephants are losing their ground. They often make inroads into human settlements resulting in man-animal conflict. To control these rogue elephants, specially trained elephants are needed. There are a few camps across the country where these elephants are trained. Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp, located deep inside the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, is one such camp.

tamil The Camp

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The camp is managed by local tribes known as Malasar. Over the centuries the Malasar tribes have lived with the elephants and in the process have developed specialised knowledge and skill to train and work with them. The members of the Malasar tribe have expertise in capturing, taming and handling wild elephants. The elephants of this camp have made journeys to different parts of the country to capture and tame rogue elephants.

The elephant camp is located about half an hour drive from Topslip and one can encounter various wildlife during this short jeep ride and may even come across Nilgiri Langur, a monkey endemic to the southern regions of western Ghats. The day at the elephant camp starts early and begins with a bath at the nearby stream. Next is breakfast time and the elephants are fed with a large dough of millet, rice, jaggery and coconut. Each elephant has a customised diet.

After breakfast, tourists leave the camp and so do the elephants. The elephants are taken to the forest for grazing. They return after eight hours in the evening. Their evening meal consists of cut fodder, however this happens in the absence of tourists.

The first phase of the agreement will grant the internees the right to leave the camp next month to visit friends and family outside the internment area. By the end of January, the government plans to have everyone resettled, reports The Scotsman. Aside from weeding out rebels the government said it also had to clear mines and repair infrastructure before the displaced people could be allowed to return to their homes.

Fonseka went so far as to list the plight of those displaced by the war as one of the 16 reasons he decided to retire early and seek public office, reports The Hindu. Outside the camps, there are also tens of thousands of displaced people waiting to return home.

By Akshaya Nath: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday said that Sri Lankan Tamil Refugee camps will from now on be called Sri Lankan Tamil Rehabilitation camps. Addressing the state assembly earlier in the day, Stalin said, "They are not orphans, we are there for them and hereafter they will be called Sri Lankan Tamil rehabilitation camp."

Based on insights gained from conducting inspections at these special camps, CM MK Stalin said Lankan Tamil refugees will be ensured decent and better livelihood opportunities by the state government.

The 130,000 Tamil civilians in the camps in the Manik Farm complex were granted the right to leave, as was announced ten days ago, but many are expected to stay based there, as their villages have been destroyed.

The UN and international aid groups had criticised the crowded, unsanitary conditions in the camps. In May, when the fighting between the Tamil Tigers and the army ended, the camps held 280,000 people.

Stalin said, Just like the MLA, I mentioned Sri Lankan Tamil refugee camp while announcing welfare measures yesterday. From today, Sri Lankan Tamil refugee camp will be renamed as Sri Lankan Tamil rehabilitation camp. They are not orphaned to be called refugees. We, the Tamils, are with them."

Stalin on Friday announced a series of welfare schemes worth Rs 317.40 crores for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in camps in the state. The announcement was made in the assembly under rule 110.

But most importantly for the communities surrounding the camp, they help thwart increasingly frequent and aggressive incursions by wild elephants who venture into settled areas in search of food, leaving their inhabitants fearful of attack.

In total, about 50 Tamil families landed on the island on 23 April. From that moment they camped in the ruined rooms of the old church, the convent of the Holy Family and the Catholic school. Anthonyayya and Vedhanayagam report: "It is very painful to see what happened to our island, the beloved church, the school and the house of the missions. We cannot conceive the negative forces that have been unleashed here ".

Thirty-six-year-old Nalini spent all of her life in a refugee camp for Sri Lankan citizens in Tamil Nadu. Wanting a better life for her children, she was one of the first people from these camps to seek Indian citizenship. She was born in the Trichy refugee camp in 1986, which makes her an Indian citizen as per the Citizenship Act. Her dream materialised on August 14 this year, when the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court authorised her Indian citizenship, and promptly directed the authorities concerned to issue her an Indian passport.

The present study used an ecological approach, in which the effect of the environment on a person is regarded as significant, to explore resilience among Sri Lankan Tamils living in refugee camps in India.

Additionally, the results of this study need to be interpreted with caution because participants were camp refugees, which may limit the applicability of these results with refugees who live in different settings.

Kuttikat, M., Vaillancourt, A. and Massey, M. (2018), "Battered but bold: Sri Lankan Tamil refugee war experiences, camp challenges and resilience", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 245-259. -04-2017-0013

4) In a report by Amnesty International and in one Tamil Rights Bulletin, Palaly is noted as the location of a camp belonging to the Sri Lankan army where ill-treatment or torture of Tamil detainees is alleged to have taken place. [Tamil Rights Bulletin, January 1981, p. 3; and Amnesty International, Report of an Amnesty International Mission to Sri Lanka, 31 January - 9 February 1982 (London: 1982), pp. 30-31.] Both these examples are dated from 1981-82.

Sri Lankan Tamil refugee families detained for decades in refugee camps in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have repeatedly tried to commit suicide in desperation due to conditions in the camps. Amid mounting anger across India against the murderous official handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, this prompted a hypocritical statement from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

These refugees fled to India during the 1983-2009 communal war in Sri Lanka. During the last 38 years, under Tamil Nadu state governments of all political colorations, thousands have lived without basic facilities or democratic rights in the camps. More than 70,000 people are housed in 115 camps in 28 districts of Tamil Nadu, including Madurai, Erode, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai, Pudukottai, Coimbatore, Kanchipuram, Trichy and Tiruvallur. A further 34,135 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are non-camp refugees in Tamil Nadu.

Weekends are pretty precious to students, but hook them with something interesting and they may not mind giving up one weekend for a fun language learning experience. For the 141 Sec 1 Higher Tamil Language students who chose to spend the weekend of 10-11 July 2010 at a Higher Tamil Language Camp at the Uma Pulavar Tamil Language Centre, they were in no rush to go home when each day's activities were over. As Sujandren from Anderson Secondary School declared, "I think the camp should be extended to three days instead of two, and it should be a residential camp so that we can have even more activities."

Now in its 10th year, the camp is designed to raise interest in the language - and students' standard of language use - by immersing them in a Tamil-speaking environment. This year's camp was co-organised by the Centre and Higher Tamil Language teachers from participating schools, with the theme of "Learning Tamil through the Arts".

"The camp programme is very engaging and I was really looking forward to coming here again on Sunday (day two)," says K. Metran from Yishun Secondary School - even though he had stayed up on Saturday night to watch a football match.

On the first day of the camp, the festive, the colourful and the vibrant took centrestage as participants discovered the significance of traditional practices, games and cuisine, and how these differed in Singapore and India. The Sec 1 students eagerly lapped up newfound information about wedding costumes and ornaments, clothing that is defined by age, gender and social status, and even ingredients and cooking styles. "I realised that murukku can be prepared and served with ingredients other than vegetables," says M. Meethrra of Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School. "We can also add chilli, crab and curry. I am going to try this out at home."

Tapping on the expertise of the community, the organisers of the camp invited industry practitioners - including a music director and singer, a radio editor, and a film and news producer - to lead sessions on the dramatic arts, music, creative writing and media arts. Students were divided into groups and taught specific skills related to their allocated areas, then asked to apply them. The second day of the camp was set aside for them to show off their skills, as they would take to the stage to demonstrate what they had learned.

That Tamil was the de facto language throughout the two-day camp was not lost among the students, who tend to use English in their daily interactions at school. This looks set to change. "Now that I am aware of the rich heritage of the Tamil language, I feel really proud to be able to speak it. I will definitely use it more often among my friends," enthuses Darveen from Assumption Secondary School.

A group of Tamil refugees outside their shelter at a camp in Tamil Nadu. There are more than 100,000 ethnic Tamil Sri Lankans in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, including 68,000 in 112 government-run camps and 32,000 outside the camps


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