IAS Working Paper on Sri Lankan Muslim Returnees

IAS Working Paper on Sri Lankan Muslim Returnees

The Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam is pleased to announce the publication of IAS Working Paper No 46: Difficult Return: Muslims’ Ambivalent Attachments to Jaffna in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka by Dr. Diotima Chattoraj and Dr. Eva Gerharz. Please see below for details.

Abstract: 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.

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 at 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 at Ruhr University Bochum.

To see more IAS Working Papers, please visit the IAS Working Papers web page.