- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: University of Georgia Press (Sept. 15 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0820348139
- ISBN-13: 978-0820348131
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #478,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Pain, Pride, and Politics: Social Movement Activism and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada Paperback – Sep 15 2015
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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.<i></i> (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. <i></i> (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.<b></b> (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.<i></i> (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. <i></i> (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)
How Tamils in Canada responded to armed conflict back home in Sri LankaSee all Product description
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Ok, if you don't want to take my word for it. the following review may help?
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 Tamil diaspora 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)
Also recommend the valuable book by Journalist/Author Rohini Mohan:
The Seasons of Trouble: Life Amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka's Civil War
The answer to this question can be found in Pain, Pride, and Politics as it delves into an issue that needed scholarly scrutiny. Until now we only had a crude understanding of this diaspora, its struggles and successes, and more importantly its links to the civil war. Amarasingam weaves together a narrative that give us an insider’s view with the studied detachment of an academic.
However, the author’s lived experience as a young Tamil growing up in Toronto informs what would have otherwise become too academic. This is evident right from the introduction when he describes an encounter with the LTTE’s infamous money collectors in front of his home in the early 1990s.
Amarasingam acknowledges that many Tamils did indeed give willingly and generously to these collectors every month. However, for others, they were an ever-present nuisance: “young men with big egos equipped with dangerously short fuses,” the author writes.
And it was not just the diaspora Tamils who grew weary and concerned by the LTTE’s presence and activity. Soon the whole community got tainted in the eyes of mainstream Canada. Governmental and policy circles started seeing Tamils as overly radical and fundamentally corrosive to the prospects of peace in Sri Lanka.
Although some of these concerns were perhaps justified, much of the anxiety was exaggerated by misunderstandings. This book now provides an in-depth examination of the ways in which a separatist socio-political movement has been carried forward, altered and adapted by the diaspora.
To make sense of this process, its first chapter examines the rise and fall of Tamil militancy in Sri Lanka. It gives a detailed account of how ethnic grievances, political mobilisation, and events on the island led to armed conflict. The focus then shifts to diaspora activism in Canada. The book comes into its own here as it attempts to fill two broad gaps in literature on diaspora politics.
First, much of the writings examine diaspora communities as either peacemakers or troublemakers in relation to conflicts in their old countries. This black and white approach fails to acknowledge the greys of diaspora activism in its own right.
Second, in setting out to address this issue, Amarasingam cross-fertilizes his diaspora study with extensive literature on social movement theory.
It helps us better understand the street protests, the organizational dynamics and the process of identity formation in the post-civil war Tamil diaspora. The futility of dividing the community between a “moderate majority” and a “pro LTTE bloc” is also brought forth.
Even though Pain, Pride, and Politics is the first such book-length treatment of Tamil diaspora politics in Canada, it does have self-set boundaries.
Issues like inter-generational religious identity, the proliferation of temples and ethnic Tamil churches, debates about caste identity, refugee experiences, mental health issues affecting the community and gang violence are not touched upon.
By skimming on these diaspora issues and a fuller account of post-colonial political developments in Sri Lanka, maybe Amarasingam is setting himself up for another book in the future. But what he gives us in the present is a periscopic view of the singular dynamics that propel diasporic communities into uncharted spaces.
The insights offered make it an essential read for understanding the struggles future diaspora groups are likely to face and maybe even for helping us mitigate or prevent some altogether.