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Volume 1

Forced Migration


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A Tamil Asylum Diaspora

Sri Lankan Migration, Settlement and Politics in Switzerland

Christopher McDowell

320 pages, 4 maps, 16 tables, 5 figs, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-917-8 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (August 1996)


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"... the study is strong ... the data is very well analyzed and socio-historically contextualized ... McDowell's research can not only serve as a praiseworthy example of a detailed migration study, but scholars in religious studies, anthropology and indology may take it as an example how to contextualize and to empirically substantiate one's studies on South Asian overseas communities."  · International Journal of Hindu Studies

During twelve years of ethno-nationalist secessionist violence in the north and east of Sri Lanka, insurrection in the south, and island-wide state repression, many Tamils were forced to seek political asylum overseas. At least 200,000 Tamils, primarily from the Jaffna Peninsula, have escaped to Europe of whom ca. 25,000 (the largest group relative to the population) have settled in Switzerland, the focus of this study. The author examines the conditions in Sri Lanka that led to the flight, the phases and technicalities of the emigration and resettlement in Switzerland. Based on anthropological fieldwork and on completely new archival material, the author not only looks at the development of the Tamil community in all its diversity but also at the impact of federal and cantonal policy and practice, at the economic situation and broader changes in Switzerland which led to demands for reforms to the country's asylum and immigration rules. In this respect, Switzerland set an example that other governments were soon to follow.

Christopher McDowell is Research Officer, Refugee Studies Programme, International Development Centre, University of Oxford.

Subject: Refugee & Migration Studies Peace & Conflict Studies General Anthropology
Area: Asia Europe

LC: DQ49.S68 M35 1996

BL: YC.1996.a.5642

BISAC: SOC007000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Emigration & Immigration; LAW032000 LAW/Emigration & Immigration

BIC: JFFN Migration, immigration & emigration; LBBR International human rights law




Contents

List of Figures
List of Maps
List of Tables
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Glossary

PART I: INTRODUCTION AND RESEARCH

Chapter 1. Introduction - Asylum Diaspora
Chapter 2. Fieldwork and Research Methods
Chapter 3. Swiss Public Opinion, Asylum Policy Reform and the Repatriation Agreement

PART II: SRI LANKA AND CONFLICT

Chapter 4. Sri Lanka - Violence, Nationalism and Migration
Chapter 5. Sri Lanka 1983 to 1991 - Conflict

PART III: TAMIL ASYLUM ENTRY INTO SWITZERLAND

Chapter 6. Switzerland's Tamil Asylum Migrant Population
Chapter 7. Early-Phase Asylum Migration 1983 to 1985
Chapter 8. Middle-Phase Asylum Migration 1986 to 1988
Chapter 9. Late-Phase Asylum Migration 1989 to 1991

PART IV: DIASPORA DIVISIONS, FORMATION AND POLITICS

Chapter 10. Immigrants and Asylum Seekers
Chapter 11. Politics in Exile: The Profits of Inertia

PART V

Chapter 12. Conclusion

Bibliography
Index

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