This paper sets out to examine Sri Lankan Tamil diasporic mobilization in Canada in its various organisational forms, from the late 1970s to the present. Even as there is much talk about the Canadian Tamil diaspora, the largest population of Sri Lankan Tamils outside of Sri Lanka itself, there is, maybe quite surprisingly, very little actually written about organisational dynamics in the community. In attempting to fill this gap in the research, this paper makes several inter-related arguments: first, far from being monolithic or homogenous, Tamil diaspora politics in Canada is constantly in flux. Second, with respect to issues of reconciliation among ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, as well as economic and social development, the diaspora’s role is ambiguous at best. What is clear, however, is that in the post-war period, the “organisational field” has become quite diverse, and the diaspora’s role in reconciliation and economic development is being openly and actively debated and criticized. I begin by providing a brief overview of scholarly debates surrounding the definition of “diaspora” as well as a snapshot of the Canadian Tamil community, before examining the pre and post 2009 organisational dynamics.
source: ICES Research Paper