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.
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Agreement of 1964 Bandaranaike basis Buddhist Ceylon Ceylon Workers Congress citizens Citizenship Acts citizenship and franchise citizenship laws Colombo colonial conﬂict context created D. S. Senanayake disenfranchisement dominant Dudley Senanayake economic elections elite employment estate workers ethnic groups exclusion ﬁrst further gender government of Sri government’s Hansard hill—country Tamils identity ideological immigrant implementation independence India and Sri Indian citizenship Indian laborers Indian origin Indian Tamil community indigenous inﬂuenced interests Kandyan Sinhalese land leadership left—wing parties majority minority nation—state nationalist Nehru parliament period persons plantation sector plantation workers planters political population post—independence Prime Minister reality reﬂected relations repatriation repatriation of Indian representation result Sahadevan 1995 separate electoral signiﬁcant Sinhala language SLFP social Soulbury Constitution Sri Lanka Sri Lankan citizenship Sri Lankan Tamils stateless stateless persons status Tamil N adu Tamils in Sri Tamils of Indian Thondaman trade unions UF government UNP government women