Becoming Sri Lankan
DOI link for Becoming Sri Lankan
Becoming Sri Lankan book
In this chapter, the author analyzes changes in Up-country Tamils’ political, civil and social citizenship through various parliamentary acts and debates, relying mainly on archival research at the Sri Lankan National Archives. He traces Up-country Tamils’ cultural citizenship through their attachments to India and Sri Lanka, as seen in senses of place and popular culture, particularly sports. The author focuses on the exploration of what makes Up-country Tamils Sri Lankan. He addresses the tensions among the various understandings and perceptions of citizenship in order to examine the many ways that Up-country Tamils have become Sri Lankan, how they have remained Indian, and the meaning of the identifications. The author considers the denial of Sri Lankan citizenship to Up-country Tamils in the 1940s to be the first major step towards the island’s ethnic conflict in the postcolonial era. Even though nearly all Up-country Tamils are Sri Lankan citizens, “the actual substance of citizenship remains a terrain of struggle”.