Pain, Pride, and Politics

Social Movement Activism and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada

Title Details

Pages: 248

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 09/15/2015

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4813-1

List Price: $29.95


Pub Date: 09/15/2015

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4812-4

List Price: $114.95

Pain, Pride, and Politics

Social Movement Activism and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada

How Tamils in Canada responded to armed conflict back home in Sri Lanka

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Pain, Pride, and Politics is an examination of diasporic politics based on a case study of Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada, with particular focus on activism between December 2008 and May 2009. Amarnath Amarasingam analyzes the reactions of diasporic Tamils in Canada at a time when the separatist Tamil movement was being crushed by the Sri Lankan armed forces and revises currently accepted analytical frameworks relating to diasporic communities. This book adds to our understanding of a particular diasporic group, while contributing to the theoretical literature in the area.

Throughout, Amarasingam argues that transnational diasporic mobilization is at times determined and driven as much by internal organizational and communal developments as by events in their countries of origin, a phenomenon that has received relatively little attention in the scholarly literature. His work provides an in-depth examination of the ways in which a separatist sociopolitical movement beginning in Sri Lanka is carried forward, altered, and adapted by the diaspora and the struggles that are involved in this process.

Amarasingam's impressive, clearly written study provides, at once, a fascinating account of the complex politics of the Sri Lankan Tamil community in Canada and a significant reappraisal of diaspora theory.

—Mark P. Whitaker, author of Learning Politics from Sivaram: The Life and Death of a Revolutionary Tamil Journalist in Sri Lanka

Written from the perspective of a critical insider, this engaging book helps us to make sense of the fractious complexity of Tamil diaspora politics since the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009. Its innovative angle on diaspora as a social movement points to ways of understanding how and why diasporas have become such important players on the global scene.

—Nicholas Van Hear, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society at the University of Oxford

The end of military conflict in Sri Lanka has ushered in new political and intellectual space to analyze war, violence, and displacement in the country. In this book, Amarasingam deftly excavates the meaning and politics of the Sri Lankan Tamildiaspora abroad, research that would not have been possible even a decade ago. An original and captivating read.

—Jennifer Hyndman, Director, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University

This book is an insightful and courageous examination of Tamil political dynamics and a significant addition to diaspora studies.

—R. Cheran, University of Windsor

This is an excellent volume that revises currently accepted analytical frameworks on diasporic communities through a balanced and scholarly analysis of diasporic Tamil activism in Canada at a time when the separatist Tamil movement was being crushed in Sri Lanka. Amarasingam is able to provide a fascinating picture of the motivations for, the complexity of, and the divisions within Tamil activist organizations in Canada.

—Chandra R. de Silva, Old Dominion University

Combining depth of qualitative data and keen theoretical insight, Amarasingam provides us with a richly textured and comprehensive account of the political activism of the large Canadian Tamil diaspora since the disastrous defeat of the Tamil Tigers. Delineating the complex struggle to transform an ethnonationalist separatist movement into an international campaign for the protection of human rights in Sri Lanka, this is essential reading for scholars interested in the analysis of diasporic social movements.

—Lorne L. Dawson, University of Waterloo

This is an important and path-breaking book on the relationship of the Sri LankanTamil diaspora in Canada with the Tamil struggle for survival and self-determination in Sri Lanka.

—Prema A. Kurien, Syracuse University

This book will interest not only those interested in Tamil diasporic politics in Canada but also would interest any reader wanting to know broader trends in diasporic social movements.

—Siva Sivapragasam, Monsoon Journal

About the Author/Editor

AMARNATH AMARASINGAM is the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University, professor of religion at Wilfrid Laurier University, and lecturer at University of Waterloo. He is the editor of The Stewart/Colbert Effect: Essays on the Real Impacts of Fake News and Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal.