Culture of Migration: State-Society Relations and Transborder Mobility in Northern Sri Lanka

  • Eva GerharzEmail author


Transborder migration from northern Sri Lanka does not only have a long history reaching back to colonial times but mounted high as ethnic relations became more tense. During the war between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), transborder migration became a viable option at least for the more affluent members of society. This resulted into the formation of strong transnational social ties, which were eventually facilitated by the Tamil Tigers but which also offered new opportunities for imagining one’s own future as well as the future of the region once the conflict had been put to a halt. Even though Sri Lanka’s (post-)conflict situation has ushered in a new area which is marked by the absence of warfare, tensions and ambiguous relationships vis-à-vis the state continue. Based on this observation, this chapter will argue that the conflict and conflict-induced migration have produced specific conditions under which mobility continues to be among the major means to achieve individual aspirations and better future. It will further show how this dynamic impinges on the local society, how it influences prospects for (re-)development and what the implications for sustainable peace might be.


Migration Transborder Mobility State-society Sri Lanka 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social and Cultural SciencesUniversity of Applied SciencesFuldaGermany

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