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Abstract

This report is the result of a research project of the GMC commissioned by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). It deals with the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora’s political engagement with the Tamil cause in Switzerland. The report aims to identify the key traits and means of political engagement of the Tamil diaspora in Switzerland in a post-2009 context. The power vacuum left by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) within the Tamil political scenario, both in Sri Lanka and abroad, opened the door for a number of new political organisations, which began to mushroom soon after 2009. This report seeks to understand the perceptions of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Switzerland of these ‘new’ organisations, as well as the true impact of their activities. The first part of the report provides an introduction by outlining the main findings from our empirical material against the background of a literature review on Tamil diaspora politics, both globally and specific to Switzerland. This helps frame the discussion and provides the key guiding ideas of the report. Thereafter, we have elaborated a succinct mapping of the ‘new’ transnational organisations operational in Switzerland. The second part of the report identifies key findings, further providing an analysis and explanation on the material collected. The final section focuses on a set of conclusions and recommendations for the reader.

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