In the post-cold-war world, power relations have rapidly become
The autonomy of the nation-state is challenged from without by
transnational flows of capital, cultures, and peoples; simultaneously the
integrity of many nation-states is challenged from within by struggles for
independence or self-determination by minority peoples.
Those who identify themselves as Sri Lankan Tamils are involved
simultaneously in the
and the localization of Tamil culture. On the one hand, a war is
being waged for a separate Tamil homeland within the small island currently
named Sri Lanka. On the other hand, efforts are being made throughout the
world to make Tamil culture better known to, and understood by, non-Tamil
peoples, toward the end of establishing cross-cultural and cross-national
alliances. The immediate and most urgent need is to free Tamil people
remaining in Sri Lanka from the domination of a Sinhala-controlled
government that is hostile to Tamil interests, and has been directly
responsible for the deaths of many thousands of Tamil civilians.
A strong transnational Tamil community, diverse in many ways but
united toward certain goals, may develop through current efforts to secure
justice for Sri Lankan Tamils. The present paper will compare Tamil
nationalist thought with Tamil transnationalism, in relation to concepts of
the indigenous and the exogenous.
The relation also will be examined between Tamil people in need of a
homeland, and Tamil people for whom all places are home.