“Arbeiten, arbeiten, arbeiten – und dann?” by Tagesanzeiger.ch

“Das Kastensystem gibt es leider noch. Ich bin jetzt 24 Jahre alt und ich habe Kolleginnen, die sich in einen Tamilen aus einer anderen Kaste verliebt haben. Dieses Familientheater! Wahnsinn. Familien sprechen nicht mehr miteinander, die Kinder müssen ausziehen und werden ausgeschlossen.”

[ English Translation: “The caste system unfortunately persists. I’m now 24-years-old and I have a female colleague who fell in love with a Tamil from another caste. The drama that followed! Insane. Families stop speaking to each other, children are forced to move out and are banished.” ]

via: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/leben/gesellschaft/Arbeiten-arbeiten-arbeiten–und-dann-/story/22218491

“The Cultural, the Nominal, and the Secular: The Social Reality of Religious Identity Among Sri Lankan Tamil Youth in Canada” by Amarnath Amarasingam

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.”

via: https://www.academia.edu/9919491/The_Cultural_the_Nominal_and_the_Secular_The_Social_Reality_of_Religious_Identity_Among_Sri_Lankan_Tamil_Youth_in_Canada

“Tamils Lacks Political Leadership” by TU Senan

The TNA chiefs are looking for a stunt of some sort to defend their sustained inertia in the context of a profound need for clear leadership for Tamils in Sri Lanka. Of course, the current regime complies – its continued repression of some TNA leaders provides opportunities for them to escape their responsibility. In fact, the TNA leaders intended to keep to the TULF tradition of supporting the right-wing UNP candidate. However, this was spoiled by Maithiripala Srisena’s announcement as an opposition candidate.

Prior to the election announcement, the TNA put time and effort into convincing a section of the diaspora leadership to support the UNP. TNA leaders met some diaspora leaders in a not-so secret meeting in the US. It was made clear that the TNA leaders were ready to compromise on key demands, including the demand for the right to self-determination, and that this was not just a strategy but a political stand that they are taking. Sadly for them, the diaspora organisations are still to the left of the right-wing TNA leadership and refused to give into all that was demanded.

A section of the TNA who dare to speak out are supressed by the TNA leaders. The current leadership spent more time manoeuvring against their opposition within the TNA than actually developing a political strategy to advance the right of Tamils. Creating illusions in the Indian government and western governments is their only consistent policy. This serves no purpose other than to transform them into a tool of the west and India depite the claims that they propagate among Tamils in the North and East – that the west and India are coming to support the Tamils’ cause.”

via: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/tamils-lacks-political-leadership/

“Malaysian Tamils’ lurch towards ethnic radicalism” by Ceylon Today

“The recent arrest of three top Sri Lankan Tamil members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Malaysia on the charge that they were collecting funds and doing propaganda to revive the LTTE ‘internationally,’ has also brought into focus a growing tendency among Malaysian Tamils to get swayed by the militant and separatist ideology of the LTTE as part of a general lurch towards ethno-religious nationalism.

The Malaysian Tamils’ pan-Tamil sentiment and their endorsement of the LTTE line, appear to stem from the social, religious and economic conditions in Malaysia. Tamils, who constitute 81% of the Malaysian Indian community, are at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. Quintessentially, the Tamils who are 8% of Malaysia’s population, are the hewers of wood and drawers of water. Malaysia has been growing economically, but the Tamils have been left behind.
Since the Tamils constitute the bulk of the Indian community in Malaysia, statistics for the ‘Indian’ population are basically those of the Tamils. Therefore, in this piece, the term ‘Indian’ used in the media, and official statistics, will be deemed to be equivalent to ‘Tamil’.”

via: http://www.ceylontoday.lk/51-65893-news-detail-malaysian-tamils-lurch-towards-ethnic-radicalism.html

“LTTE Reaches Out To Scottish Separatists” by Camelia Nathaniel

“The LTTE network outside London was the strongest in Leicester and Milton Keynes but even their participation was limited. Thanam was disappointed because he had operated from Milton Keynes, yet even those willing contributors and volunteers evaded him. Eventually, the LTTE UK was able only to organise five buses and they were operated carrying LTTE flags, banners and placards

To coincide with the inauguration of the Commonwealth Games, the LTTE in the United Kingdom gathered at Barrowfield Street in Glasgow G40 3QZ on July 23 at 3.30 pm. Although the LTTE expected between 400-500 cadres, activists, supporters and sympathizers living in the UK and overseas, they could muster less than 150 men and women, mostly rejected and pending asylum seekers, but a few residents. The event was organised by the Tamil Coordinating Committee (TCC) led by Lucien Rupert Soosaipillai a.k.a Thanam, the LTTE chief in the UK.”

via: http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2014/07/27/ltte-reaches-out-to-scottish-separatists/

“The people smugglers Is the tough application of Canada’s immigration laws justified?” by Aljazeera

In August 2010 a ship called the MV Sun Sea reached Canada carrying nearly 500 Sri Lankan Tamils – a journey organised by people smugglers. After having spent 52 days out on sea, hidden deep in the belly of the cargo vessel, the Tamils had finally reached their destination.

It wasn’t the first ship with Tamil asylum seekers to have arrived into Canadian waters. Ten months earlier, the MV Ocean Lady, had brought 76 Tamil passengers. All of them said they were fleeing their homeland at the end of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE) by government forces.”

On People & Power we follow the arrival of two boats with Tamil refugees in Canada and asks whether the tough application of Canada’s immigration laws, resulting in many potential deportations, is justified.”

via: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2014/07/people-smugglers-20147239276629601.html and http://bcove.me/pcim3lnb


source: Aljazeera

“Politicising the personal: Who am I, Who are ‘we’ as people?” by Sinthujan Varatharajah

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.”

via: http://roundtableindia.co.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7530%3Apoliticising-the-personal-who-am-i-who-are-we-as-people-3&catid=119%3Afeature&Itemid=132

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

source: http://roundtableindia.co.in

Conférence: “Hinduism Abroad : Contacts, Politics, Transnationalism”, 10 juin, au CEIAS à Paris

Le Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (UMR 8564 CNRS-EHESS) a le plaisir de vous convier à la deuxième séance de l’atelier de recherche « Les Hindous, les Autres et l’’Ailleurs: Asie du Sud et Diaspora » qui aura lieu le mardi 10 juin, de 9h30 à 16h, en salle 638.

hindouism abroad.indd

Il s’agit d’une conférence internationale portant sur le thème “Hinduism Abroad : Contacts, Politics, Transnationalism” dont vous trouverez le programme ci-dessous.

Hinduism can be considered a historical point of contact between various religious traditions. Countless situations of contacts with other religious groups have left their marks on Hinduism, contradicting its ethnic dimension many scholars have focused on.
Such relevance of contact in the history of Hinduism is well known in South Asia but must also be analyzed in diasporic contexts.
The aim of this conference is precisely to initiate a discussion on how Hinduism and Hindus interact with other groups and religions they encounter overseas. How does Hinduism redefine itself abroad, far from its holy land and among non-Hindus? What kinds of links have been established between Indian and diasporic Hinduisms? What about the territories they connect? Are the situations of contact observed overseas comparable to the ones that have occured in India in past and present times? Do these contacts lead to cosmopolitism or do they feed ethnicity? What are the consequences of these contacts on the nature of contemporary Hinduism in terms of religious practices and representations, and in terms of politics?
Such are some of the issues that will be addressed during this workshop, drawing on several case studies located in Western contexts and resulting from migrations that occurred during the last century.

Programme :

9h30: Welcome address, Mathieu Claveyrolas (CNRS, CEIAS) & Pierre-Yves Trouillet (CNRS, CEIAS)

10h-11hKnut Jacobsen (University of Bergen, Norway)
Hindu Traditions and the Plurality of Religions in the South Asian Diaspora in Norway
Discussant: Raphaël Voix (CNRS, CEIAS)

11h-12hSidharthan Maunaguru (National University of Singapore)
‘Naming the Giving’: Hindu Temples, Politics, Law and Philanthropy in London
Discussant: Delon Madavan (CERIAS, Montréal)

Lunch break

14h-15hPrema Kurien (Syracuse University, USA)
Majority versus Minority: Religious Status in India and Foreign Policy Activism in the United States
Discussant: Aminah Mohammad-Arif (CNRS, CEIAS)

15h-16hFrank Neubert (University of Bern, Switzerland)
From Connecting Hindus to Uniting Global Hinduism: History and Guiding Principles of Hinduism Today
Discussant: Véronique Bouillier  (CNRS, CEIAS)

Contacts : 

Mathieu Claveyrolas (mathieu.claveyrolas@laposte.net)
Pierre-Yves Trouillet (pytrouillet@gmail.com)


“A History of Tamil Diaspora Politics in Canada: Organisational Dynamics and Negotiated Order, 1978-2013” Amarnath Amarasingam

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.

via: http://fr.scribd.com/doc/191980947/A-History-of-Tamil-Diaspora-Politics-in-Canada-Organisational-Dynamics-and-Negotiated-Order-1978-2013-Amarnath-Amarasingam

source: ICES Research Paper

“Sri Lanka, behind the headlines of the Commonwealth Summit” BBC World News

The meeting of Commonwealth heads of government has started in Sri Lanka. But the summit’s attendance list has already narrowed. Leaders of Canada, India and Mauritius have boycotted the gathering. The reason stems from concern over the Human Rights record of the Sri Lanka government, particularly with the regard to the last few months of the end of the civil war in 2009. Coverage on Impact included an in-depth report on the issues underlying the controversy by George Alagiah, followed by a studio discussion by Impact presenter Lucy Hockings with Sri Lankan Democracy Activist Nirmala Rajasingam, and Dushy Ranatunge, a London based journalist for the Sri Lankan newspaper, The Island.

via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn31CUxh_mk

source: BBC World News (via Youtube)

“Canadian facing U.S. terrorism charges pleads guilty to aiding Tamil Tigers” by Adrian Humphreys

“On Tuesday afternoon, in a near-empty courtroom in Brooklyn, Suresh Sriskandarajah admitted he provided support to the Tigers knowing it was designated as a terrorist group, saying he met his co-accuseds while visiting Sri Lanka.”

via: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/07/02/canadian-facing-u-s-terrorism-charges-pleads-guilty-to-aiding-tamil-tigers/


source: http://news.nationalpost.com

“Is the Tamil Diaspora Against Unity in Sri Lanka?” by Nirmanusan Balasundaram (Groundviews)

The false lesson once taught by the Sri Lankan state has today forced all stakeholders of the ethno-political conflict of Sri Lanka to endure the consequences. Now exists a new opportunity to either fall into another trap laid out by the Sri Lankan state or to utilise the opportunity for course correction.

The world has already learnt a bitter lesson from Sri Lanka. The question now is: Will the concerned actors grab the opportunity and walk in the right direction? If yes, the Tamil Diaspora will march alongside with them.

Via http://groundviews.org/2013/05/04/is-the-tamil-diaspora-against-unity-in-sri-lanka/

source: Groundviews

2009 pro LTTE demonstration at Batu Caves (Malaysia) by Delon Madavan

This is the translation of an article published in french for the website Cafégéo. The website invites in its rubric “Carte postale” contributors to give the analyse of a photography. The 2009 pro LTTE demonstration, hold on 24th May 2009 at Batu Caves in Malaysia, has been chosen as case study for this exercice.


(photography taken on May 24, 2009  at Batu Caves, Malaysia)

 The choice of location is not insignificant. Batu Caves, with its large golden statue of the god Murugan, is one of the largest Hindu temple outside of India. It is from this holy place, located at 13 km from Kuala Lumpur, that Malaysian Tamils ​mobilise to condemn the genocide which affects those in Sri Lanka. Photographs of children and women victims of bombings echo the explicit banners denouncing, in Tamil and in English, the atrocities that were committed deliberately against civilians (“Stop genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka”, “Punish Sri Lankan State Terrorism”, “Your silence smacks of approval of genocide”). The organizers wish to attract the attention of Malaysian and international public opinion on the humanitarian catastrophe that touches the largest minority of that country. Indeed, the last phase of the conflict, which opposed the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE separatists (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), has cost the lives of 20,000 civilians. Furthermore, despite the proclamation of the victory of Colombo, 280,000 civilians still remain, after several months of fighting, locked up in overcrowded internment camps without any presence of international observers.

The Tamil Malaysian community also intends to press for his government to withdraw its support for the Sri Lankan government that seeks the support of a third of the countries to present a draft resolution, preventing the UN to open an investigation into the possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the last months of the conflict.

The portraits of the late separatists’ leader, V. Prabhakaran, and Tigers flags worn by the demonstrators leave no doubt about their commitment to the creation of an independent state for Tamils ​​in Sri Lanka: the Tamil Eelam.

In contrast, leaders of some states are clearly presented as objective enemies of the separatist cause. Several banners caricature as devils Sri Lankan (President Rajapakse) and Indian (Indian Prime Minister M. Singh and Sonia Gandhi, President of the Congress Party and wife of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassinated by the LTTE) political leaders. The head of the Sri Lankan state is compared to Hitler and is presented as the primary reason for the Tamil genocide. While the demonstrators reproach the Indian leaders for supporting the Sri lankan government for its draft resolution, which prevents the opening of international and independent investigation against Rajapakse and his army. Posters calling for a boycott of products manufactured in these two countries also express the anger of the demonstrators (“Boycott ! Boycott !! Boycott !!! Air travels to India by Indian air lines, Tours to India, Relationship and Dealings with Indian High Commission”).

To compensate for the lack of support of a sovereign state, pro Eelam militants insist on the mobilisation of the trans-national Tamil community. Several posters present it as a single and integral entity. But the observation of certain banners quickly puts spotlight its artificial nature. One can thus read on certain of them « N°1 Tamils ennemis traitors» with the portraits of two characters. The first represents Karuna, former military leader of the LTTE for the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka who broke away and joined the Sri Lankan government. The second portrait represents M. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (India), who is accused of having done nothing to force the Central Indian state to intervene to stop the military offensive of the Sri Lankan army. Enabling the massacre of Tamils ​​as well as leading to the defeat of the Tigers. So despite the rhetoric of the demonstrators, the trans-national Tamil community is diverse and activists at the Batu Caves are not their spokesperson.

If this mobilisation is presented as a spontaneous reaction of the defense of human rights in favour of a civilian population in distress, the event is nonetheless a political instrument for the LTTE, which wants to assert its positions. For proof, many demonstrations were held across the world with the same slogans and the same staging. At Batu Caves, the pro LTTE Tamil trans-national movement gives a religious dimension to its political struggle. By organizing their protest in this sacred temple, Tigers have also called upon the faith of the faithful to believe, despite the military defeat, in the future birth of an other territory that has been sacralized, that of the Tamil Eelam. The latter would include the Northern and Eastern parts of the island, considered by the separatists as the historic homeland of the Tamils ​​in Sri Lanka. Thus the LTTE presents the obtaining of an independent state, not as the completion of the dream of the only Sri Lankan Tamils ​​but as the one of the Tamil nation dispersed across the world.

Source of the french version:

Madavan D, 2010, Carte postale de Batu Caves in Cafégéo