Paper examines growing relevance of Tamil Diaspora

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 July 2004, 23:19 GMT]
A policy paper prepared for the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Management, Germany by the Department of Sociology and Centre of Refugee Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada, recommends diaspora circulation "as an effective tool for engaging the diaspora in a meaningful way in the reconstruction and development of war-torn areas in Sri Lanka," and urges home countries to reformulate "citizenship, migration and development policies in order to facilitate the constructive involvement of diaspora."

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Asserting that, "diasporic groups, capable of maintaining and investing in social, economic and political networks that span the globe, are of increasing relevance and interest to policy makers in home countries as well as host countries," the paper proceeds to examine approaches and outlines possibilities for using "diasporic circulation and transnationalism as agents for change" in the context of Sri Lanka.

The paper suggests three major areas where circulating diaspora can be involved: (1) Knowledge capital and knowledge transfer, (2) capacity building and investment and, (3) peace building and strengthening civil society in the Northeast.

The paper cites examples of development activity that is taking place post conflict zones and points out the willingness of foreign agencies in supporting these acitivities.

The paper concludes with recommendations for "Host coutries" and "Home countries" for making effective use of the diaspora.

 

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