The Case of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora and Homeland: A Shared Ethnic Identity?
By Kalyani Thurairajah
Volume 17, Issue 1, pages 115-132
The conceptualization of an ethnic identity is complicated when one considers how this identity is understood by the diasporic community and by the homeland community. This article argues that the second-generation Sri Lankan Tamil diasporic community in Toronto conceptualize their Tamil ethnic identity in a manner that supports their right to engage in homeland politics. However, not all Tamils in Sri Lanka share this understanding. Drawing on over one hundred interviews conducted among second-generation Tamils in Toronto and their age-cohort in Sri Lanka, this article argues that the very premise upon which the diasporic population base their right to engage in homeland politics and their right to claim membership of a shared ethnic identity may not be justified by those in the homeland. These diverging perspectives of ethnic identity challenge the role of the diasporic community in homeland affairs.
Read the full article here.