Diaspora dilemmas: Australia and the Sri Lanka conflict

25 May 2007

Australian researcher Sam de Silva notes the recent arrests of two Melbourne men accused of being members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, Tamil Tigers). "The arrests, and the Australian government's strong statement condemning both the government and the LTTE bring the Sri Lankan conflict closer to Australia, and present the Sri Lankan diaspora community with difficult choices." De Silva sketches the background of the conflict and the Australian government's increasing concerns. The Tamil diaspora in Australia, de Silva argues, "faces three main options: continue to promote their claim that the men were raising funds for humanitarian work and not the LTTE's war machine; distance themselves from the arrests and remain silent; or to affirm the LTTE's fight as a liberation struggle and argue that it is valid for Tamils in Australia to support that cause."

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