Experiences of Sri Lankan Tamils Displaced to Colombo: Three Narratives

Diotima Chattoraj


This paper focuses on the experiences, challenges and aspirations of three middle-aged Sri Lankan Tamil Displaced persons in Colombo who are reluctant to return to their places of origin in the northern provinces of Sri Lanka due to several personal and professional reasons. The paper aims to analyze the diverse experiences they faced due to displacement. It also uncovers strategies used to cope in a new city and portrays the differences they experience between the places they came from and the city they now live in. The empirical point of departure has been drawn from the stories of three middle-aged Sri Lankan Tamil Displaced persons in Colombo. The paper argues that they have adapted to their place of displacement and view the city as a more suitable place to live compared to their places of origin. In addition, they also identify displacement as a blessing in disguise as they believe integrating in Colombo helped them to aspire to a better future which would have never been possible in their places of origin. Thus, this paper provides a picture of how they have reconstructed their lives in Colombo and how this has led them to reconsider and renegotiate their relationship to their 'homes'.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25120/etropic.17.1.2018.3646


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