“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."
"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 ethno-nationalist 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 Lankan Tamil 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
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.
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