Citizenship and Statelessness in Sri Lanka: The Case of the Tamil Estate Workers
‘Citizenship and Statelessness in Sri Lanka’ examines the loss of citizenship and statelessness of Indian Tamil estate workers in Sri Lanka. The loss of citizenship this community suffered over 60 years ago continues to dominate and disrupt their lives, contributing to poor working conditions, impoverishment and general marginalisation. By analysing the context of the formal agreement between the Indian and Sri Lankan government that led to the loss of citizenship Kanapathipillai reveals the economic, electoral and ideological issues that influenced the decision, and introduces gendered notions of citizenship and the agency of the workers into the discussion of the phenomenon.
‘Citizenship and Statelessness in Sri Lanka’ approaches the issue from a Sri Lankan perspective, thereby bringing a distinct new voice to scholarship on this subject, which has previously focussed on the inter-governmental and foreign policy implications of the agreement. By breaking the 'view from above' approach, and listening to the 'voices from below' of the Indian Tamil workers who have suffered as a result of the agreement, Kanapathipillai successfully reframes the parameters of scholarship on this subject.