Sinhalese couple who fled to India jailed

December 21st, 2008 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu), Dec 21 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Sinhalese couple who eloped from Colombo and landed in India pretending to be Tamil refugees were sent to jail Sunday for illegally entering the country, police said.The identity of Dushra Chandana (30) and Sarooha Bilkani (18) was revealed after they landed with 19 others near here Saturday, an official said.

According to police sources, the couple fled Colombo after relatives objected to their friendship and reached the northern town of Vavuniya, 254 km north of the Sri Lankan capital.

Fearing arrest there, they fled to Tamil Nadu by boat claiming to be Tamil refugees in order to “live happily ever after”, as an officer put it.

Since neither spoke Tamil, their ethnic origin was discovered. Tamil Nadu authorities first separated them from Tamil refugees and Sunday sent them to prison for violating the Indian Passports Act.

Sri Lanka’s deputy high commissioner P.M. Amza told IANS that the couple would be accorded all possible help.

“We are in touch with the couple through the Tamil Nadu government and are in the process of providing them consular assistance,” he said.

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