CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Sri Lankans began to arrive in France in the 1980s at a time when conflict between the Singhalese government and the Tamil separatists was getting more severe. Relations with Sri Lanka and with exiles in various countries point to a diaspora configuration. Community organization and media content also indicate that the diaspora is under the influence of the Tamil nationalists who symapthise with the Tamil Eelam Liberation Tigers. Their actions give to their exile a single orientation: return to the Tamil “nation” after years of waiting in suffering and solidarity with the fighters. This interpretation clashes with the aspirations of those who wish to leave France for another country, notably the UK, where they expect to achieve better social and economic success. The “diasporic dynamic”, which produces a form of ubiquity and independence from the territory of origin, is thus hampered by the nationalists’ grip on expatriate Sri Lankans.

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