This paper examines the experiences, aspirations and challenges of Sri Lankan Muslim returnees to the northern part of Sri Lanka
Working Paper No. 46
Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam
This article focuses on the experiences, aspirations and challenges of Sri Lankan Muslim returnees to the northern part of Sri Lanka, Jaffna and analyzes their strategies to cope with the ambivalent situation they face. The empirical point of departure is drawn from the stories of three Muslim returnees in Jaffna who returned from different parts of Sri Lanka. The article finds that the Muslim returnees conceptualize home as a place where they can have a “better future” than the displaced location where they stayed for so long. We argue that this unveils the different kinds of attachment they have to their homes through memories, emotions, as well as material and other immaterial concerns. There even, exist feelings of alienation and detachment from their homes among some. Furthermore, their aspirations of a good life seem to be fading after their return.
Sri Lankan Muslim returnees, home, return, Sri Lanka, Tamil Muslim returnees, attachment, belonging
Dr. Diotima Chattoraj is a doctorate (with distinction magna-cum-laude) from the Department of International Development Studies (IEE) in Ruhr-University Bochum Germany. Presently, she is a Research Assistant of Prof. Ahsan Ullah at the University of Brunei. Prof.
Dr. Eva Gerharz is working in Fulda University of Applied Sciences in Germany at the department of Sociology with a focus on Globalization. Before moving to Fulda, she was working as a Junior Professor in Ruhr University Bochum.