Ganesha Caturthi in France by Anthony Goreau-Ponceaud

Ganesha Caturthi in France

Kovil illa uril kudi irrukka vendam

(Do not live in a place without a temple, Tamil adage, Sangam period)

 Picture 1: People are waiting the arrival of the chariot of Ganesha (Paris, 2008). Anthony Goreau-Ponceaud


According to Jacobsen (2009: 183) “the misfortune of the Tamils in the modern nation state of Sri Lanka is an important context for understanding the religious rituals in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora”. Indeed for the Sri Lankan Tamils, religion is a significant factor not only in maintaining ties with the homeland but also in orienting their lives in the diaspora. Additionally, Hinduism is not recognized in France as a religion but only as a ‘philosophy of life’. According to the Bureau of ‘Religions’ (Bureau Central des Cultes) Hinduism is not recognized in France. The French state regulates the different cultes. As Bowen (2008) and Adrian (2009) have shown, France’s state-controlled secularist model and the politics of laïcité require the strict privatization of religion, eliminating religion from any public forum, while at the same time pressuring religious groups to organize themselves into a single centralized churchlike institutional structure that can be regulated by and can serve as interlocutor to the state.[1] In the case of Hinduism, such a structure does not exist. In that way, for the establishment of a kovil it is necessary to create an association officially registered at the Prefecture of Paris.

Placing Hindu practice in Paris

The kovil serves as a community centre that makes Hinduism experiential. It also importantly constitutes a visible place for Hindus and non-Hindus to refer to and to gather in. It creates a sense of collective solidarity and a common identity. Although kovils are by no means the only places in Paris for the religious life of Hindus, they certainly hold importance in the public display of religiosity in French culture. Until recently only a relatively small percentage of the French population knew where and how Sri Lankan Hindus practice their faith because Hindu public religious institutions were virtually non-existent when the first immigrants arrived. In the end of the 1970s and in the early 1980s rooms were hired for the communal celebration of certain festivals. Such places of worship were by necessity only temporary. The first permanent places of worship appeared in 1985. In fact, among the 11 kovils owned by Sri Lankan Tamils in the Paris region, the association of Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam or Ganesha/Vinayagar temple enjoys the greatest popularity. This major Sri Lankan Hindu temple in France was officially opened in the heart of the La Chapelle district in 1985. The owner of this temple, Sandera Sekaram, is a Vellalar from Jaffna who arrived in France in 1975 at the age of thirty. The opening of this temple is linked to specific activities that his family undertook in the diasporic space. Ganesha is a god who is the subject of a special devotion from Sandera Sekaram’s family. In 1983, the mayor of Paris gave him the authorizations to open his temple, yet this was not easy. He told me in June 2008:

In 1983, I commissioned a statue of the lord Ganesha from my family in Sri Lanka. The statue arrived in France in 1984. I installed it at the Embassy of India in Paris for its consecration and the following year, I placed the murti on the domestic altar of my home – an apartment on the third floor of a building near the Oberkampf metro station in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. I opened the temple in February 1985 [his flat serves as a community temple before the opening of the temple itself]. But complaints from neighbours because of the noise generated from the comings and goings of the worshippers resulted in expulsion proceedings (Sandera Sekaram’s lessor requested termination of the lease to evict him). Therefore, in 1992, we created the association ‘Sri Manika Vinayagar Alayam’ in order to install the murtis in a former carpentry workshop, here at the 72 rue Philippe de Girard. But we are going to move again, we are going to go a little further, at the 17 rue Pajol. It will be a bit bigger.

This new temple is a few yards from the original site. All works were planned by a stapathi (architect) from Chennai. The building is immediately adjacent to a residential block. On the whole, the temple is well situated to serve as a place of public access for Hindus in Paris. As a result, places which formerly tended to remain hidden and inconspicuous, with barely any indication of the people who used them, have become increasingly visible. The Hindu Tamil minority has begun to make clear that they want to present their religious orientations and practices to the outside world. In doing so they are claiming their own place as part of the French religious pluralism, particularly during the Ganesha caturthi.

This festival lasts for twelve days but the high points in terms of ritual importance and the number of people attending is the chariot procession or rathayatra. The procession ritual was organized for the first time in 1996, just one year after the ‘miracle of the milk’[2]. This procession has changed over the years. As in Norway (Jacobsen, 2008: 197) “the number of elements included and the quality have increased. Each year new elements have been added”. While initially there was only one chariot, a second one was quickly added and brought from Sri Lanka as well in the form of a richly decorated resin elephant. The number of participants grew steadily: in 1996 it was estimated between 1,000 and 2,500. In 2004-2008 the Ganesha festival drew between 10,000 and 15, 000 visitors, and the number given for 2010 and 2011 was 30,000. This will surely be more at the next festival on September 2!

It is obvious that this procession is no exact replica of those in Sri Lanka. For example its date in the Diaspora does not follow the traditional ritual calendar based on the planetary movements but complies with the official regulations of the French authorities which allow this procession on Sundays only, when traffic is lightest. On rathayatra, the murtis of the two most important gods of the kovil, Ganesha and Murugan are transported on two festival chariots on the streets. These chariots are hand-pulled through the streets in a circle around the kovil by barefooted devotees dressed in traditional costumes, the first exclusively by men and the second by women, thus blocking traffic.

 

Picture 2 and 3: rathayatra (Paris, 2009). Anthony Goreau-Ponceaud

Before the procession, the streets are washed with rose water and saffron by two water trucks from the municipality to purify the path of Lord Ganesha, and men carry heavy wooden cavadis. This practice is becoming increasingly popular. The cavadis are held on the shoulders of the carriers who dance to the beat and tune of drums and flutes. Most cavadi dancers are younger men. But, in 2008, forthe first time a woman was seen with a cavadi on her shoulders. These dancers are followed by women carrying on their heads camphor offerings which are set on fire. Piles of coconuts are placed along the way in order to be broken as the chariots pass them. Numerous devotees of the Lord accompany his idol, dancing and singing bhajans (songs worshipping divine beings).

Picture 4 and 5: Cavadis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanings and community

This procession is a movement from one place to another that is symbolically and ceremonially resonant. This event consists of distinctive elements (costumes, music, chariot, and so on) that distinguish it from the everyday urban routine but are presented in ways comprehensible to Hindu and non Hindu spectators alike. For Sandera Sekaram, this procession is held not only for the benefit of the Sri Lankan devotees of the deity concerned but also for the wider public. The Sri Lankan Tamils living in France are very much committed to the writing of brochures about their religion so as to make Hinduism understandable by French and non-Hindus in general. More specifically, members of the temple of Ganesha have created a website.[3]​​ They also sell videos of previous processions and every year much energy is invested in trying to get journalists to cover the event[4]. These operations of communication are indispensable because the average cost of the festival is 40,000 euros. So even if this event is firstly organized by and for the Sri Lankan Tamils, according to Sandera Sekaram, “by bringing more than 20.000 people each year this festival is a way of reuniting the whole South Asian population beyond religious splits”. But according to Sandera, “even if there are Muslims and Christians who come to see the festival, this event is important for us because it allows us to show ourselves to others”. Thus, this procession brings Sri Lankan Tamils together in order to put religion and religious identity on display. And according to Jacobsen (2008: 191) “people moving with sacred objects on public streets make their religious traditions, their identities and their concerns visible to each other and to an audience”. This procession also makes the size of the group visible. And, by using their bodies and a number of objects, the Sri Lankan Tamils openly demonstrate their religiosity in the streets. In doing this they lay a claim to public space: they temporarily occupy it; they fill it with their bodies, voices and instruments. This event is also an occasion to bring the deity out of his normal abode, the sacred interior of the temple, into the profane everyday world. And by combining procession (movement) and station (the significant stopping in front of the most influential merchants in the community, which is where the coconuts are broken), this event has “a performative character” (Slyomovics, 1995: 159). Moreover, the route of the procession always describes a circle or a square through the neighbouring area back to the temple. Moving in a clockwise direction they perform what is known as pradaksina or circumambulation. In this sense, the Ganesha Caturthi is a public ritual which refers to the idea of a sanctifying delimitation of space and time. Space and time are well socialized through deliberate practices and local representations which are accompanied by emotions, through which social experience is tested, displayed, expressed and debated. The street then appears as a primal scene of politics where identities and loyalties are put in contact and in tension with each other. As pointed out by Jacobsen (2008, 201), “the area of the temple is marked as the territory of the god. In the circumambulation of the temple, the audience watching the procession merges with it more easily”.

This ritual process of ambulation around the temple assumes renewed meanings among Tamils in Paris, in so far as it also delimits a political space of identification between the city and the Tamil community. The main function of this procession in a diasporic context is to exhibit one’s own religious culture. The latter becomes a marker of cultural uniqueness. This procession can also become the means to form ethnic communities and identities in the immigrant context, especially as the route of the procession has never been changed. The procession-ritualized time enables the community to stick out from discretion and be visible in full view of everyone, which makes it a means of drawing public attention. While the Ganesha festival is organized with the aim of allowing the Tamil population to achieve a certain degree of legitimacy within the French public sphere and society, the process is far from going unquestioned by the French polity. In fact, the procession was banned by Tony Dreyfus twice – in 1999 and in 2000. This is because for some inhabitants of La Chapelle, the procession exacerbates communalism, seen as the closing in of ethnically defined communities on themselves. This claim refers to the postulate of French political philosophy that citizens must all subscribe to same values in the public sphere. In France, due to laïcité, when private religious groups which are not recognized by the state seek to act publicly, they incur suspicion. They compete with the state for the loyalties of their members, and thus promote communalism. Finally, this procession confirm that transnational connections enable migrants as never before to maintain collective identities and practices. This has significant bearings on the culture and identity of the so-called second generation.

 

Anthony Goreau-Ponceaud

Lecturer in geography

University of Bordeaux IV

UMR ADES CNRS

 

Bibliography

Adrian, M. 2009. “France, the veil and religious freedom”, in Religion, State and Society, Routledge, vol. 37, n°4, 345-374.

Bowen, J.-R. 2008. Why the French don’t like headscarves. Islam, the State, and public space, Priceton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Bhatt, C. 1997. Liberation and purity. Race, new religious movements and the ethics of postmodernity. London: Routledge.

Goreau-Ponceaud, A. 2011. “Tamils in France”, in Dynamics of Indian Emigration: Historical and current perspectives, edited by R. Irudaya and M. Percot. Delhi: Routledge, Chapter 3, 64-90.

Goreau-Ponceaud, A. 2008. La diaspora tamoule : Trajectoires spatio-temporelles et inscriptions territoriales en Île-de-France. Thèse de doctorat de géographie, Université de Bordeaux 3, 427p.

Hargreaves, Alec G. 1995. , Immigration, « Race » and Ethnicity in Contemporary France, London and New York: Routledge.

Jacobsen, Knut A. 2008. “Processions, public space and sacred space in the South Asian Diasporas in Norway”, in South Asian religions on displays. Religious processions in South Asia and in the Diaspora, edited by Knut A Jacobsen, London: Routledge, 191-204.

Jacobsen, Knut A. 2009. “Establishing Tamil Ritual Space: A Comparative Analysis of the Ritualisation of the Traditions of the Tamil Hindus and the Tamil Roman Catholics in Norway”, Journal of religion in Europe, n°2, 180-198.

Slyomovics, S. 1995. “The Muslim World Day Parade”, in Nation and Migration. The politics of space in the South Asian Diaspora, edited by P. Van Der Veer, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 157-177.

 


[1] According to Bowen (2008, 18), the control of organized religion by the state is intended to guarantee public order.

[2] Sandera told me that it was also to celebrate this miracle that he wanted to organize the procession.

[4] Even if the journalists do not understand the meaning of the event, it gains much media attention in an exotic bias.

Jaffna et le conflit intercommunautaire à Sri Lanka par Delon Madavan

Nous proposons ici un lien pour télécharger gratuitement l’ouvrage de Delon Madavan intitulé « Jaffna et le conflit intercommunautaire à Sri Lanka »:

Madavan/Jaffna et le conflit intercommunautaire à Sri Lanka

 

Résumé:

La détérioration des relations intercommunautaires à Sri Lanka a conduit à un affrontement armé entre le gouvernement central et les Tamouls du Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, dans lequel les civils se retrouvent prisonniers.

Le sort de la ville de Jaffna, au nord de l’île, en est l’exemple le plus emblématique. C’est de cette capitale culturelle et historique des Tamouls du pays, qu’est né le mouvement de résistance aux différentes mesures discriminatoires adoptées par le gouvernement central. A partir de 1987, cette ville devient le principal théâtre et enjeu du conflit armé.

Le cessez-le-feu de 2001 a été une opportunité sans précédent pour étudier les conséquences de la guerre à Jaffna. En effet, jusqu’à cette date, il était difficile pour un chercheur de travailler en sécurité sur ce terrain et de pouvoir accèder aux outils statistiques et cartographiques. L’approche historique a permis de comprendre les causes et l’évolution du conflit intercommunautaire. L’enquête et les entretiens obtenus directement auprès des Jaffnais, ainsi que les cartes réalisées sur les communautés religieuses, sur les castes ou le dynamisme démographique des différents quartiers de la ville, permettent de voir quel a été l’impact de la guerre pour la population et combien la société traditionnelle de Jaffna a été bouleversée par le conflit armé.

Ce travail de recherche est d’autant plus intéressant que la dégradation de la situation politique rend de nouveau difficile l’accès à la péninsule de Jaffna pour les chercheurs. Les Jaffnais doivent une fois de plus faire face au couvre-feu et il leur est de nouveau difficile de se déplacer dans le reste de l’île. L’éphémère espoir de paix suscité par le cessez-le-feu de 2002 laisse malheureusement place à un repli communautaire à Jaffna et à Sri Lanka dans son ensemble.

 Référence: MADAVAN D., (2007), Jaffna et le conflit intercommunautaire à Sri Lanka, Paris: PRODIG/Collection Grafigéo, p.88

Situations urbaines d’inter-éthnicité : le cas du quartier de la Chapelle. Les Tamouls face à la population locale / Gaelle Dequirez

 

Nous partageons ici un lien pour télécharger le mémoire de DEA de sciences politiques de Gaelle Dequirez qui porte sur les relations intercommunautaire entre les Tamouls sri lankais et les résidents du Quartier indien de La Chapelle.

dequirezLaChapelle

Référence: Dequirez G., 2002, Situations urbaines d’inter-éthnicité : le cas du quartier de la Chapelle. Les Tamouls face à la population locale, mémoire de DEA de sciences politiques, Lille, Université Lille 2

SAGAR: A South Asia Research Journal, CFP Articles, Translations, Response Essays – DEADLINE Sept. 30

Sagar: A South Asia Research Journal seeks innovative academic writings on the history, society, culture, literature, religion, economics, technology and media of South Asia. The journal was established in 1993 and is published annually online and in print by The South Asia Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. As of August 2012, we have made the transition to peer-reviewed status. Submissions are now coordinated by an editorial collective of UT graduate students and blindly evaluated by an editorial board of advanced scholars in the field.  In addition to continuing to publish full-length research articles of the highest quality, we are pleased to introduce two new features in our 2013 issue. For the first, we seek original translations of fiction and non-fiction prose and poetry from South Asian languages to English. For the second, we request response essays of 1500 words or less that consider single texts. Guidelines on length and formatting are provided below.

With the introduction of these new elements, Sagar will allow scholars of South Asia to experiment with new styles of writing. Our translation feature will familiarize scholars of particular linguistic regions of South Asia to new literatures, both popular and literary. Such exposure will facilitate comparison, perhaps drawing out common currents in the literatures of South Asia. For the English language reader, this feature will showcase writings outside the commonly translated canons of South Asian literature. Our second new feature, the response essay, will allow for continuous reflection on images, speeches, exhibits, performances, architecture, songs, and the like. Here, we are not looking for responses to scholarly writings (i.e. book reviews); rather, we encourage scholars to venture outside their areas of specialization, to intervene with timely responses to current events, or take the first steps along the way to future scholarly projects.

In all cases, we encourage writings that are theoretically driven and empirically grounded and take advantage of our online format through hyperlinks, color images, and embedded video and audio.

Guidelines for Submission:

We accept submissions for our annual issues every September and response pieces for online publication throughout the year. Manuscripts should follow the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. Entire essays, including block quotations and notes, should be double-spaced. Remove any identifying information so that submission is suitable for anonymous review.

(1)  Full-length research articles: Full-length-articles should be between 8,000 and 10,000 words and should include a one-paragraph article abstract.

(2)  Original translations: Translations should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words and should be preceded by a 300-600 word introduction that contextualizes the text or excerpt.

(3)  Response essays: Responses should be 1500 words or less, and where applicable should include an image or recording of the work to which you are responding.

Please submit electronic copies of papers saved as Microsoft Word file. Send electronic manuscripts and/or questions to sagarjournal@gmail.com. All submissions for inclusion in the 2013 issue are due by September 30th, 2012.

source: AISLS

preconference program « Sri Lankan Cinema and its Diaspora » for the Madison South Asia Conference

Friends,

It’s nearly time to make travel plans for the Madison South Asia Conference in October and so I write to invite you to the preconference program « Sri Lankan Cinema and its Diaspora. »  The program, which is sponsored by AISLS, will take place on Thursday afternoon, October 11, 1:00 — 6:30 pm.

The schedule of events includes film screenings, commentary by one of the film makers, and a roundtable discussion; it has been assembled by Nalin Jayasena, who is a member of the English Department of Miami University (Ohio) and a film studies scholar.  You can view the schedule of events program at aisls.org/news.html .

The pre-conference program is open to all conference attendees, as well as the general public.  Please share this announcement with friends and colleagues.  There is no charge for attending.

I hope to see you there.

Jeanne

Jeanne Marecek
Swarthmore College 

Source: AISLS

Sri Lankans on the Move: an International Conference on Migration (ICSOM)

Sri Lankans on the Move is the theme of an International Conference on migration organized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in collaboration with the National Committee on Social Sciences (NCSS) of Sri Lanka.  The Conference will be held from 23-25, January 2013 in Colombo, Sri Lanka and aims to bring together academics, researchers, policy makers and development practitioners to discuss and debate various issues relating to migration of Sri Lankans including policy implications.

Migration has been an important element of the Sri Lankan social fabric for centuries.  In colonial times, the Tamils from Sri Lanka migrated to Malaysia for work in the public and private sectors. After Independence, the Burghers migrated to Australia, and since then there have been waves of external migration as a consequence of changes taking place in Sri Lanka as well as in response to opportunities opening up overseas.  From 1983 onwards population displacement caused by ethnic conflicts and war became a major trigger for legal and illegal migration to Europe, North America and India. Currently over 20 percent of the Sri Lankan workforce is employed abroad, and they are a primary source of foreign exchange earnings for the country.  Migration can be either permanent or temporary.  It is caused by multiple factors and has impacted on the lives of many Sri Lankan men, women and children.  Migrant remittances are a vital source of foreign exchange to the Sri Lankan economy.  Migration is, for some, a strategy for moving out of poverty, and a means of social mobility and empowerment. For others, migration can denote a loss of care and support with wide ranging consequences. However, in the worst cases it is merely a survival strategy.

The Conference aims to bring in a corpus of multidisciplinary scholars to present their work on migration, and to make sense of this complicated landscape. The outcomes of the Conference will feed into the discourse on migration and policy analysis and programme development.

source: http://icsom.nsf.ac.lk/

Recherche participants pour un projet documentaire sur les familles transnationales

Dans le cadre d’un projet documentaire sur les familles transnationales, nous souhaitons prendre contact avecdes femmes et des hommes faisant partie de la diaspora sri lankaise en France ou à Montréal et pouvoir éventuellement les inviter à participer dans le projet.

 Nous sommes en effet à la recherche des familles éparpillées dans la géographie qui se trouvent à cheval sur deux ou plusieurs pays dans le monde à cause de la migration d’un ou plusieurs de leurs membres. Des familles séparées par des milliers de km mais qui maintiennent un contact actif malgré la distance.

Nous vous remercions de toute information qui nous aide à prendre contact avec les membres de ces familles. Si vous voulez également savoir un peu plus sur le projet, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter :

Hector Ulloque

+33 6 26 17 67 40

hector@mediodecontencion.com

Juan Javier Rodriguez

+33 6 30 04 18 88

« The Friday Forum on Crisis in the Education Sector » by Professor Savitri Goonasekere and Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala (Colombo Telegraph)

We like to share the following piece by Professor Savitri Goonasekere and Dr.  Jayantha Dhanapala on behalf of ‘The Friday Forum » which deals about institutional developments in Sri Lankan universities.

« The Friday Forum, in a spirit of democratic engagement wishes to draw attention to what our group considers priority concerns that  must be addressed and resolved to prevent further deterioration and a possible collapse of the state education system. »

The piece appeared in Colombo Telegraph and can be found here:

http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-friday-forum-on-crisis-in-the-education-sector/

Source: AISLS

« Les Kaffirs: Une communauté afro-sri lankaise » par Delon Madavan

Les Kaffirs (ou Cafres en français) sont des descendants d’Africains au Sri Lanka. Ils sont nommés cafrinhas en portugais, kāpiriyō en singhalais et kāpili en tamoul. Ils sont arrivés par la traite noire conduite par les Portugais au 16ème siècle. Le terme « cafre » vient du mot arabe « Kafir » qui sinifie « non croyant », puis ce terme a éte utilsé pour désigner les populations d’Afrique orginaires de la côte sud et est de l’Afrique du sud.

Ils ont servi dans les forces navales européenne et en tant que domestiques. Ils ont également servi dans des régiments kaffirs pour combattre les armées ceylanaises.

Les Kaffirs sont des populations très semblables à des populations africaines en Irak, l’Iran et au Koweït, et qui sont connus au Pakistan et en l’Inde comme « Sheedis » ou « Siddis ». Les Siddis, les Sheedis et Cafres ne se connaissent pas, rares sont ceux qui sont instruits et qui savent où sont leurs compatriotes et d’où ils viennent. Mais même dans une partie du monde où la plupart des gens ont la peau foncée, ces Africains d’ Asie du Sud se distinguent.

En plus des caractéristiques physiques, certains Cafres sri-lankais portent des tresses ou des coiffures afro et ont conservé des restes de leur héritage africain dans la danse, la musique et la parole. Au Sri Lanka, les quelques milliers de cafres vivent parmi les palmiers autour de Puttalam, sur la côte nord-ouest et près de la ville orientale de Batticaloa. La plupart d’entre eux sont catholiques.

Les Kaffirs sont principalement cultivateurs mais certains travaillent dans les Salines de Puttalam, d’autres à l’hôpital de Puttalam ou bien sont employés dans les bureaux du gouvernement local. Bien qu’ils aient résisté à des pressions culturelles des autres groupes ethniques pendant une longue période, ils sont très bien intégrés à travers une identité multiéthnique à Sri Lanka, notamment à travers les mariages mixtes.

Cela n’est pas surprenant, car auparavant il y avait déjà des mariages entre les bourgeois portugais et les Kaffirs qui appartenaient en fait à une même entité culturelle : ils parlaient le tamoul, le singhalais, le portugais et le créole et ils étaient catholiques.

Aujourd’hui il ne reste plus que 3000 de ces Cafres à Sri Lanka, leur nombre ne cesse de chuter mais ils sont fières de leur culture et de vivre au Sri Lanka.

Sur le net : une vidéo sur la culture cafre écrite et produite par Kannan Arunasalam.

Nous remercions les rédacteurs de Namhao (http://namhao.com/Details.aspx?ID=243&DID=3) pour la traduction en français.

 

 

 

Everyday Ethnicity in Sri Lanka: Up-country Tamil Identity Politics by Daniel Bass

Abstract:

Focusing on notions of diaspora, identity and agency, this book examines ethnicity in war-torn Sri Lanka. It highlights the historical development and negotiation of a new identification of Up-country Tamil amidst Sri Lanka’s violent ethnic politics.

Over the past thirty years, Up-country (Indian) Tamils generally have tried to secure their vision of living within a multi-ethnic Sri Lanka, not within Tamil Eelam, the separatist dream that ended with the civil war in 2009. Exploring Sri Lanka within the deep history of colonial-era South Asian plantation diasporas, the book argues Up-country Tamils form a « diaspora next-door » to their ancestral homeland. It moves beyond simplistic Sinhala-Tamil binaries and shows how Sri Lanka’s ethnic troubles actually have more in common with similar battles that diasporic Indians have faced in Fiji and Trinidad than with Hindu-Muslim communalism in neighbouring India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Shedding new light on issues of agency, citizenship, displacement and re-placement within the formation of diasporic communities and identities, this book demonstrates the ways that culture workers, including politicians, trade union leaders, academics and NGO workers, have facilitated the development of a new identity as Up-country Tamil. It is of interest to academics working in the fields of modern South Asia, diaspora, violence, post-conflict nations, religion and ethnicity.

About the author:

Daniel Bass teaches Anthropology and International Studies at Fairfield University, USA. His research interests include ethnicity, religion, globalization, migration, labor, and popular culture among Tamils in Sri Lanka, India and the diaspora. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on Up-country Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Reference: Daniel Bass, 2012, Everyday Ethnicity in Sri Lanka: Up-country Tamil Identity Politics, Routledge, p.230

CAPTURES AU NORD OUEST DES HIGHLANDS par André Louchet

Nous remercions très chaleureusement André Louchet, Professeur de géographie à l’université de Paris-Sorbonne, pour ce billet nous les captures au Nord Ouest des Highlands à Sri Lanka. Vous trouverez en fin de ce billet une bibliographie des principaux travaux d’André Louchet portant sur la géographie physique de Sri Lanka

 

Lien pour voir la carte : captures H

 

Cette figure complète la figure ht 26-4 page 26 (Carte d’Hatton) qui montrait probablement de la plus extraordinaire future capture du monde.

Ici, l’aspect “guerre des bassins versants” est moins évidente. Mais on remarquera que Presque tous affluents de rive gauche de la Mahaveli ont été captures par les réseaux de la Maha- Rambukkan, la Deduru,  et son affluent la Kik, et la Sudu. Sont menacées la Hunnan, la Ping et la Rawan.

Le coude brutal de la mahaveli à kandy laisse suppose rune capture beaucoup plus ancienne au profit de la “trouée héroïque” de Victoria Falls.

Notez le déplacement exceptionnel de la ligne de partage des eaux vers l’Est.

 

Bibliographie

Louchet A., 1993, Ceylan: contribution à l’étude géomorphologique d’un fragment du Gondwanaland dans ses rapports avec l’ouverture de l’océan Indien, Paris, Université Paris-Sorbonne (thèse d’Etat)

Louchet A., (1981), Le Sud Ceylan: recherches géomorphologiques dans un socle en zone tropicale humide, Université Paris-IV Sorbonne, p.307  (thèse de géographie)

Louchet A., « Sur les basses surfaces de l’île de Ceylan », in Bulletin de l’Association de Géographes Français, n° 475, 1981, p. 25-35

Louchet A., « La région de Kandy : chaînes et bassins dans les Highlands de Ceylan », in Bulletin de l’Association des Géographes Français, n° 463, 1979, pp265-273

Louchet A.,  « Le contact highlands lowlands dans le sud de Ceylan », in Bulletin de l’Association des géographes français, n° 448, 1977 p. 320-329

 

Preliminary Report (Provisional) – 1 Census of Population and Housing 2011 Enumeration Stage February – March 2012 POPULATION OF SRI LANKA BY DISTRICT

We propose here a link to consult the trilingual Preliminary Report (Provisional) of the 2011 Census of Population and Housing dedicated to its distribution by district.

Nous proposons un lien pour consulter le rapport trilingue préliminaire (provisoire) du recensement 2011 de la population à Sri Lanka de consacré à sa distribution par district.

CPH 2011_R1

Call for Papers Local Memory, Global Ethics, Justice: The Politics of Historical Dialogue in Contemporary Society (ADHA/Columbia University)

The Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability (AHDA) at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights will hold its first annual conference in New York City, December 11-14, 2012. The conference will be co-hosted by the Guantanamo Public Memory Project, and will also feature the Guantanamo Public Memory Projects’ first traveling exhibit and digital media as a shared international challenge in historical dialogue. Historical dialogue and accountability is a growing field of advocacy and scholarship that encompasses the efforts in conflict, post-conflict, and post-dictatorial societies to come to terms with their pasts. In contesting nationalist myths and identities, in examining official historical narratives, and opening them to competing narratives about past violence, historical dialogue seeks to provide analysis of past violence grounded in empirical research; acknowledge the victims of past violence and human rights abuses; challenge and deconstruct national, religious, or ethnic memories of heroism and/or victimhood; foster shared work between interlocutors of two or more sides of a conflict; identify and monitor how history is misused to divide society and perpetuate conflict; enhance public discussion about the past. This conference seeks to consider questions relating to these topics, and the state of the relatively new field of historical dialogue and its relationship to other discourses such as transitional justice, memory studies, oral history and historical redress., and. Little consideration has been given to the intersections of these discourses, and how these can be employed as tools in understanding the root causes of conflict. The conference thus seeks to explore the possibilities and limits of these concepts and methods, searching for unexplored connections and elaborating upon how historical analysis can be employed to resolve long-standing sectarian conflicts. We seek to explore the genealogy of the discipline of historical dialogue as well as research emanating from it: how do the memory and history of past violence evolve over time, and how do they influence a given society in the present day? What is the relationship of advocacy to knowledge production and the relationship between history, memory, and contemporary society? What is the relationship of historical truth to testimonies in truth commissions, and how do truth commissions construct historical truth? How can the tensions that exist between dialogue and accountability be understood, addressed or reconceived? In what ways can one compare historical narratives in post (identity) conflict to post authoritarian regimes? What is the role of subjects such as gender, religion, human being and citizen in understanding historical narrative, memory, dialogue and accountability? Finally, the conference seeks to be a space of interaction and the exchange of ideas between scholars and practitioners who often do not have the opportunity to collaborate, and we welcome papers that address this divide or reach across these boundaries. Proposals for individual papers, panels, roundtable discussions and digital media presentations will be considered. The deadline for submission of proposals is August 30, 2012. All proposals and questions must be submitted electronically via email to AHDA Program Director Ariella Lang at ahda@columbia.edu. Proposals should include a 300-500 word abstract, your name and contact information, as well as a brief bio. Limited travel and lodging funds are available; applications for such funds can be made upon acceptance of your proposal.

 source: http://www.hrcolumbia.org/ahda/conference