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Understanding Eelam through the Diaspora's online engagement

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Abstract:

This paper argues that a study of Diaspora's engagement with the media, especially that of 'conflict-generated Diasporas' is imperative to understand the dynamics of the conflict in the homeland in order to devise ways and means for conflict resolution. In the light of arguments that Diasporas often contribute to the prolonging and sustenance of a conflict, the paper takes up the example of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Australia and makes a case for exploring the members' engagement with media, particularly online media, to understand the dynamics and the trajectory of the conflict. This is significant, firstly, in the context of the Sri Lankan Diaspora's role in the two-decade-long civil strife in Sri Lanka that is currently poised to enter another phase,1 and secondly in the context of websites having been and continuing to be one of the most sought after sources of information on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. The paper argues that the study of the reception of information on Tamil Eelam online by members of the Diaspora is imperative for an understanding of the 'reconfiguration and remaking' of Tamil Eelam.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10304310903156797

Affiliations: National Centre for Australian Studies, School of Humanities, Communication and Social Sciences, Monash University, Caulfield East, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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