« The election campaign of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF: Gajen Ponnambalam’s new outfit) in the North-East has re-animated the discussions on the political solution to the national question. While the major political parties in the South have rejected federalism, the federal solutions presented by these two fronts include the recognition of the Tamils as a nation or a nationality, their right to self-determination and the merged north-east of Sri Lanka as their homelands. »
You could find below a link to download Amarnath Amarasingam’s chapter on « The Cultural, the Nominal, and the Secular: The Social Reality of Religious Identity Among Sri Lankan Tamil Youth in Canada. »
We would like to share a deeply personal and beautifully written piece on caste identity by Sinthujan Varatharajah.
« What does it then mean to utter these words in public? That you are a Dalit or an inter-caste Dalit? How will it affect my parents if we choose to identify with what we were taught to deny? How will it affect the people around us? How will it affect us? »
« Piece by piece am I learning to process and share, to no more live in fear and silence. To no more deny the validity of our own voices. This is part of an ongoing journey which I share in the knowledge of the vulnerability I produce not just for myself, but also those I love the most. But our pain isn’t just ours, our experiences aren’t exclusively ours, and our stories are neither isolated events. They mirror this society and culture we cherish but hardly critique.
The struggle goes on and so does our our emancipation and liberation. This is part of my own contribution, the coming out I chose for myself. »
Sinthujan Varatharajah is a PhD candidate in Political Geography at the University College London and the Founder of Roots of Diaspora (www.facebook.com/rootsofdiaspora), a narrative project on refugees and migration of Tamils from Sri Lanka. He previously researched questions on caste in migration and diaspora for his master’s thesis at the London School of Economics and Political Science.You can follow him on Twitter @varathas
We are pleased to share a link to download the Master thesis of Marianne Godard which deals with “Sri Lankan Migrants and Identity in Contemporary British Fiction: Roma Tearne’s Art of Memory”. This work, headed by Professor Ruth Morse, was realized in the framework of the Master in Anglophones studies at the University Diderot Paris 7.
Référence: Godard M., 2011, “Sri Lankan Migrants and Identity in Contemporary British Fiction: Roma Tearne’s Art of Memory”, Master’s thesis in Anglophones studies, Paris, University Diderot Paris 7, p.57
« Mohammed Usuff Mohammed Salie was born in 1877. He was the grandson of Mohamed Usuff, the Alim of the Kandawatte mosque in Galle, who was responsible for handwriting a Quran he knew by memory for his mosque.
Prince Salie was sent at a young age to Madras for his religious education. Like generations before and after him he learned to speak in the Arwi tongue, more commonly known as Arabo-Tamil which is a written register of the Tamil language that uses an Arabic alphabet. The language was an outcome of the cultural synthesis between seafaring Arabs and Tamil speaking Muslims of Sri Lanka. »
Inayet Akbarally tells the remarkable story of his great grandfather Careemjee Jafferjee and how he became the first member of the Dawoodi Bohra community to set foot in Ceylon believed to be around 1830. A “Peterite” thorugh and through, he reflects on the days when where you went to school trumped ethnicity and even religion.
Access everything here.
This evening (Friday, April 12th 2013) around 7.15pm on Havelock Road in front of the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Building adjoining Laurie’s Road, I was reminded anew that there is no freedom in our land.
I am nearly 45 years old now, and for 30 long years, I have been reminded over and over again in different places, at different times that in many ways the citizens of Sri Lanka are trapped. We have been and still are, in fact increasingly so, trapped by our fear, our intolerance, our ignorance, our sheep like obedience, either to the powers that be or to our own desperate need to play safe and stay safe.
I am not a lawyer, a journalist, an academic or an activist. I am just an ordinary citizen who is sick of being intimidated by the forces that are empowered by us to protect us. I am tired of our short sighted, nepotistic governments, our corrupt politicians, our arrogant law enforcement officers, our extremist religious leaders, and our ignorant, complacent citizenry. I am just plain tired.
Read the article in full – http://groundviews.org/2013/04/13/sheep-no-more/
Clearly then, in Sri Lanka today, Buddhist “monks” destroying private property are kosher, but citizens attempting to light a candle, and walk peacefully in solidarity, are fit to be physically assaulted, hurled abuse at, arrested, intimidated and brutishly dispersed.
Our tweets and retweets are reproduced below, and include links to several Facebook status updates as well that clearly highlight fear, concern and opposition to what is now mainstream ethno-religious extremism, condoned by Police and with complete impunity, openly supported by Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the government of Sri Lanka.
We would like to announce the release of an article written by Stine Bruland on « Nationalism as meaningful life projects: identity construction among politically active Tamil families in Norway »
This article explores the motivations for how and why national Tamil identity becomes so desirable for politically active Tamil parents in Norway. What leads them to socialize their children into an embodied understanding of what it means to be Tamil – closely related to the Tamil Tiger discourse and practice? The article discusses how private practices of relatedness become technologies of nationhood, and vice versa. I argue that in their transnational lives, the children’s Tamil identity offers a way for the politically active parents to ease nostalgia for their own childhoods and a way to create a meaningful life for themselves and their children in a transnational context.
STINE BRULAND is a research assistant at the Department of Ethnography at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. From August 2011 she will be a PhD fellow at Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Reference of the article: Stine Bruland, « Nationalism as meaningful life projects: identity construction among politically active Tamil families in Norway », in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 35, Issue 12, 2012