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Transnational political activity and host state policy : Canada’s Sikh and Tamil diasporas Hoskins, Chad 2004

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Transnational Political Activity and Host State Policy: Canada's Sikh and Tamil Diasporas By  Chad Hoskins B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1997  A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of The Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts In  The Faculty Of Graduate Studies Department of Political Science W e accept this thesis as conforming to the reauired standard  The University of British Cokfrnbia I November, 2004 Q  © Chad Hoskins, 2004  IK  Abstract This study examines the political activity of two prominent diaspora groups in Canada - the Sikhs and the Tamils. The principal research questions that are explored are: a) why do some diaspora groups engage in sustained and prolonged political endeavors to influence homeland politics, and b) why has diasporic political activity so often emerged from Canada? Situated against diaspora formations based exclusively on religious, economic, or ideological goals, this study finds that "stateless" diasporas are more likely to become involved in protracted political struggles to shape homeland events. These findings result from an interconnected set of factors that influence core identity constructions in diaspora populations. Identity is linked closely with homeland territory and with homeland conditions, particularly conflict. Identity is also impacted by conditions in the host country, especially with regard to asylum/immigration policy, official multiculturalism, intelligence, and the ability to impact host country politics. This study concludes that identity (re)construction in the diaspora is based on a combination of primordial (territory, race, language, religion), instrumental (position in host country, diaspora elite interests), and socially constructed (homeland myths) factors. The type of political activity that emerges from diaspora populations with a base in Canada can best be explained by the Transnational Advocacy Network (TAN) model. Despite some essential differences between ethno-national diaspora networks and advocacy groups, the model helps to predict when political diasporas will engage in direct confrontational political action with homeland authorities and when they may turn to national governments, international agencies, and NGOs. A comparison of Sikh and Tamil groups helps elicit some of the major variables that dictate certain forms of transnational political behaviour. Some of these include funding opportunities, military capacity, position in the host society, and the relative strength of the homeland government. The conclusion reflects on the relevance of this study and provides a look forward to some of the important policy implications.  Table of Contents Table of Contents Abstract List of Acronyms • Preface and Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter 1 - Diasporas and International Relations 1.1 Diaspora, Ethnic Group, Transmigrant, and Transnational Actor - What's in a Name? ••• 1.2 Historical Relevance and Diaspora Typologies Chapter 2 - Diaspora Identity, Political Activity, and Host State Influence 2.1 Communal Interests and Identity (Re)Construction 2.2 Identity and Territory 2.4 Identity and the Host Country 2.5 Homeland Political Activity Chapter 3 - Diasporic Trans-State Politics - The Sikhs and Tamils in Canada 3.1 Immigration and Collective Diasporic Identity 3.2 Territory, Religion, and Communal Recognition 3.3 Diasporic Political Activity and Leadership - Sikhs 3.4 Diasporic Political Activity and Leadership - Tamils 3.5 Generational Impact 3.6 Differences in Political Behaviour Chapter 4 - Host Country Influences: The Canadian Political Environment 4.1 Multicultural ism 4.2 Immigration and Asylum Policies '. 4.3 Intelligence and Policing 4.4 Appealing to the Ethnic Vote? Chapter 5 - Conclusions and Policy Implications 6.1 Comparisons and Relevance 6.2 Policy Implications Appendix A: Population Statistics Appendix B: Sikh and Tamil Diasporic Organizations Appendix C - Conflict in the Punjab - Major Events and Timeline Appendix D - Conflict in Sri Lanka - Major Events and Timeline Works Cited  1 1 1 1 1  IV  List of Figures and Tables Table 1: Categorizing Confrontational and Cooperative Ethno-National Diasporas: Selected Examples Figure 1: Diasporic Identity Construction - External and Internal Mechanisms Figure 2: Potential Political Avenues for Stateless Diasporas Table 2: Language Profile - Tamil and Punjabi Speakers in Canada, 2001 Table 3: Canadians By Ethnic Origin, 2001 Table 4: Major Diasporic Sikh Organizations in Canada, 1981 - Present Table 5: Major Diasporic Tamil Organizations in Canada, 1972 - Present  18 23 40 101 101 102 103  List of Acronyms AIS CEC CIDA CSIS CTC DFAIT DND EPLF EROS FACT FARC GIA INGO 10 IRA IRB ISYF LTTE MP NACOI NGO ODA OSCE PKK PLO PLOTE RAND RCMP SWAPO TAN TEEDOR TELO TESOC TNA TPLF WSO WTM ULFA UN UNPO  Islamic Salvation Army Canadian Ethnocultural Council Canadian International Development Agency Canadian Security Intelligence Service Canadian Tamil Congress Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Department of National Defence Eritrean People's Liberation Front Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Armed Islamic Group International Non-Governmental Organization International Organization Irish Republican Army Immigration and Refugee Board International Sikh Youth Federation Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Member of Parliament National Association of Canadians of Origins in India Non-Governmental Organization Official Development Assistance Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe Kurdish Worker's Party Palestinian Liberation Organisation People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam Research and Development Royal Canadian Mounted Police South West African People's Organization Transnational Advocacy Network Tamil Eelam Economic Development Organisation Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation Tamil Eelam Society of Canada Tamil National Alliance Tigrean People's Liberation Front World Sikh Organization World Tamil Movement United Liberation Front of Assam United Nations Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation  VI  Preface and Acknowledgements This work is a final version o f a thesis submitted on November 8, 2004 to the University o f British Columbia ( U B C ) in Vancouver, B . C . , Canada, in partial fulfillment o f the requirements for the degree o f Master o f Arts in Political Science. I would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Brian Job, Professor in the Department o f Political Science and Director o f the Centre o f International Relations at U B C for his expertise, assistance, and encouragement; Dr. Diane Mauzy, Professor in the Department o f Political Science for her invaluable insights and feedback; and Margaret Purdy, former Visiting Scholar o f the Centre o f International Relations at U B C and Senior Public Servant i n the Canadian Federal Government for her knowledge o f Canadian Sikh and Tamil communities.  1  Introduction As one of the largest "settler" nations in the western world, Canada is host to a number of diverse cultures. Many of these cultures, once established in Canada, have continued to engage in diasporic political activity with homeland territories, government and citizens. In this sense, diaspora populations maintain a position that overlaps national boundaries - in terms of political identity and behaviour, they are at once "here", in the host country, and "there", in the homeland. Two of the most prominent, the Sikhs and the Tamils have received widespread attention in Canada, and worldwide, for the political activities of militaristic branches. The Air India bombing in 1985 branded many of Canada's Sikhs as radical and fundamentalist, while extensive accounts of Tamil funding for terrorism made Canadians wary of Tamil-Canadian activities. Underneath this radical activity, however, is a set of complex political identities, relationships, and beliefs that tie Canadian diaspora populations to their respective homelands. This study explores political identity construction and diaspora political relationships with the homeland. It asks: why do certain ethno-national diaspora groups continue to identify strongly with the homeland, often despite the fact that several generations have resided outside the ancestral homeland? What compels diaspora groups to invest substantial resources in efforts to alter homeland politics? The study also questions why it is that Canada specifically, and liberal democratic states more generally, have become centers for diasporic political activity? The case studies on Tamil and Sikh diasporas in Canada situate the study in a smaller subset of diaspora studies that examines "stateless" diasporas. In some ways, all diasporas are stateless, removed from their local contexts, but this category specifically describes diaspora populations that equate identity with a homeland that is not under sovereign ethnic control. Quite often stateless diasporas are involved in nation-building from a distance.  1  Interestingly, although this strategy has been pursued by a number of  This study is not concerned with stateless diasporas that reside in the "near abroad" that support secessionist or irredentist claims in order to return, but with those diasporas that impact on homeland affairs from a distance, often with no ambition to return to the homeland. 1  2  diasporas , rarely has it been successful. The Jews, in Palestine, with the creation of 2  Israel represent the paradigmatic exception to this endeavor.  3  With an overwhelming  lack of historical success, why do elements of many stateless diasporas continue to campaign and fight for independent homelands? In order to answer this question, it is important to assess the various multilevel and multifaceted political projects engaged by western-based diasporas. The strategies are multilevel in the sense that diaspora groups conduct politics at the local, national, international, and transnational levels and multifaceted because political activity is often conducted through a continuum of political action that ranges from peaceful, diplomatic initiatives to violent protest. Motivations for transnational political action are multifarious, and may include identity retention, contestation over leadership of the transnational ethnic community, organizational and bureaucratic interests within the diaspora, and unease over the political and social status in the host country.  4  Because diaspora populations occupy a space that is transnational (i.e., based in both host and homeland), the impact of the host state cannot be excluded from an analysis of diaspora identity and political activity. As well, Canada has come under attack of late from the United States and anti-immigration groups within Canada in the wake of 9/11 for a perceived failure to expose "terrorist" elements operating within Canada's borders. Whether or not these claims are true, it appears evident that several diaspora organizations use Canada as a base from which to organize, direct, and frame issues of transnational politics, at times resulting in contentious political behaviour. What are the political conditions in Canada that have encouraged diasporic organizations to use Canada as a base for overseas action? The combination of a multicultural society and the increased "securitization" of discourses surrounding immigration and refugee issues  Some of the most prominent examples of this trend have been exhibited by the Kosovars, Irish, Tamils, Sikhs, Palestinians, Jewish, Kashmiri, and Palestinians. For more see Daniel Byman et al., Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements (Santa Monica, C A : Rand, 2001). Appendix One. James Clifford, "Diasporas," Cultural Anthropology 9, no. 3 (1994). Yossi Shain, "The Role of Diasporas in Conflict Perpetuation or Resolution," SAIS Review xxii, no. 2 (2002). And Yossi Shain and Tamara Cofman Wittes, "Peace as a Three-Level Game: The Role of Diasporas in Conflict Resolution," in Ethnic Identity Groups and U.S. Foreign Policy, ed. Thomas Ambrosio (Westport, C N : Praeger Publishers, 2002). 1  3  4  1  3  compels academics and policy-makers to understand more fully issues of ethnic identity and political motivations and interests in regard to homeland regions.  5  An analysis of Sikh and Tamil diaspora identity and political activity at the local, national, and international levels helps to elicit some of the similarities and differences between two stateless diaspora populations with high concentrations in a liberal democratic state. It has often been noted that the Tamil diaspora, under the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is "exceptional" and "unique" in its endeavors and in fact represents the "apex of how an insurgent organization can exploit a diaspora for its own ends." If this is in fact true, what are the conditions and 6  organizational strategies that have facilitated this uniqueness? And, what accounts for the many similarities among the two diasporas? What degree of influence does the Canadian social and political environment exert on diasporic political formation? In answer to the primary questions posed in this study, the paper makes two principal arguments. The first refutes the claim that the Tamil diaspora is somehow unique and contends that stateless diasporas in general identify more often in a communal way with the homeland territory and engage in more ambitious and sustained political practices towards the homeland. Although the way in which communal interests are pursued in the national and international context vary, the core attachment to homeland territory and cycles of political action based on homeland events remains comparable among stateless groups living in the "far abroad". External to diasporic organization, the study argues that because the Canadian political system accepts large numbers of refugees and immigrants, gives them the space to mobilize, and promotes a brand of multiculturalism that emphasizes group identity and place of origin, it reinforces the stateless diaspora desire to solidify homeland territorial recognition.  7  A recent workshop at York University concluded that "transnationalism deserves particular attention in Canada, due to our high levels of immigration, active migrant work programmes, and the sheer diversity of our immigrant population." Despite this, it is relatively understudied when compared to scholarly endeavors in the U.S. and Europe. See Luin Goldring, Susan J. Henders, and Peter Vandergeest, "The Politics of Transnational Ties: Implications for Policy, Research, and Communities," (Toronto: York University, 2003). Byman et al., Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements. 42. Throughout, the study focuses on collective diaspora political activity as the unit of analysis. This inquiry recognizes the obstacles posed by individual decisions and group action and of the diversity within particular diasporas. Where possible, attempts are made to establish this diversity of opinion. In this study, there has been a concise effort to delimit the definitional parameters of the term "diaspora" to 5  6  7  4  More generally, the study draws three conclusions about politically active diasporas operating from a distance inside liberal democratic states. First, diasporas represent an 8  important and understudied dynamic in international relations and ethnic conflict studies, one that is neither a new nor temporary phenomenon. They demonstrate well the critical nexus that exists between international and domestic politics. Second, the type of political claims made by diaspora groups (i.e., territorial, religious, ideological, economic) matters. Political claims that are based on communal identity concerns are more likely to be intense and sustained over the long-term, especially if they take on territorial attributes. The political methods used by particular diaspora organizations may differ. However, the sustaining feature for political mobilization, and at times the initiating force, is the retention of an identity construction based on the place of origin. Third, policies in the host state are important contributors to both identity formation and political activity directed at homeland interests. Asylum and immigration policies regulate the ability of individuals to migrate, while multicultural policies as well as tolerance for diaspora activities encourage or dissuade diasporic political mobilization. Traditionally, the literature has examined the way in which diaspora populations interact with both host and homeland governments to enact political change in the homeland. In this sense, the relationship resembles a "triadic" pattern of interaction among the three principal actors. However, in an increasingly complex international 9  political environment, this conceptual framework does not explain well the forms of transnational political activity that emerge from diasporic organizations. In order to  address these obstacles and to focus specifically on diasporic political activity that emphasizes communal orientation towards the homeland. This study is based in the Canadian context, and therefore, has general relevance to other multicultural democratic states that are acceptant and tolerant of politically active immigrant/refugee groups. Debates emerge in the literature as to whether diasporic attachment to the homeland is stronger in countries that are more or less acceptant of immigrant populations. The debate is not fully explored in this paper, but, scholars such as Robert Smith argue that identification with the homeland is stronger in areas that are less receptive of immigrants, Robert C. Smith, "Politics of Membership within the Context of Mexico and U.S. Migration," in Transnationalism from Below, ed. Michael Peter Smith and Luis E. Guarnizo (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1998). As well, Alejandro Portes believes that a "transnational orientation" is strengthened in less tolerant societies that emphasize assimilation, Alejandro Portes, "Conclusion: Towards a New World—the Origins and Effects of Transnational Activities.," in Ethnic & Racial Studies (Routledge, Ltd., 1999). It has, however, also been noted that transnational political activity tends to be restricted under autocratic regimes that are often both less receptive and less tolerant of diverse immigrant interests. Gabriel Sheffer, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003). 8  9  5  assess the differences among diaspora groups, the conceptual framework must be enlarged to examine internal identity constructions, host state domestic policies, and international norms. This study, then, is necessarily a two part analysis of Tamil and Sikh communities in Canada. On the one hand, diasporas engage in what is often an independent, internal project that establishes communal identity preferences. On the other, political expression is shaped externally by the national context in which the diaspora is positioned as well as recognized international norms for political behaviour.  10  Because this type of transnational activity represents an extremely intricate web of relationships, it is necessary to move outside of some of the popular statements that view ethnic political activism as a security threat for Canada. By broadening the concept of security, studies can begin to focus on the reasons that immigrants focus attention on homeland politics and recognize that "in many cases, transnationalism is a direct response to insecurity [in both the host state and the homeland] and can be understood as a migrant-led way of improving human security."" In contrast to studies that claim "deterritorialized" status and the "unbounded" nature of transnational activity , this 12  13  study argues that diaspora political activity is very often facilitated and constrained by state governments and the international system. State policies frequently shape the boundaries that define much of the transnational activity undertaken by ethnic groups through political, economic and social policies. The result is that ethnic groups may in fact engage in certain types of transnational activity based on their position within the  As noted by Fiona Adamson, "a fruitful way of analyzing the political activities of transnational communities is to view the interlocking networks which characterize a transnational community as constituting a transnational social space which is partially embedded in and interacts with other networks, institutions and social spaces in its environs, while at the same time retaining its quality as a partially autonomous space defined by a common homeland or migration experience." Fiona Adamson, "Mobilizing for the Transformation of Home: Politicized Identities and Transnational Practices," in New Approaches to Migration?: Transnational Communities and the Transformation of Home, ed. Nadje A l - A l i and Khalid Koser (London and New York: Routledge, 2002). 159. l u  " Goldring, Henders, and Vandergeest, "The Politics of Transnational Ties: Implications for Policy, Research, and Communities." Arjun Appadurai, Modernity al Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, vol. 1, Public Worlds (Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1996). Appadurai describes the concept of deterritorialization as sometimes coterminous with globalization, and referring to a lessened importance of physical locales along with the "invented" nature of homelands and homeland territory. In doing so, he places nations and states in direct opposition as they seek to "cannibalize one another". 39. Linda G. Basch, Nina Glick Schiller, and Cristina Szanton Blanc, Nations Unbound: Transnational Projects, Postcolonial Predicaments, and Deterritorialized Nation-Slates (Langhorne, Pa.: Gordon and Breach, 1994). 12  13  6 host society or because of the relationship between the host country and homeland government. Chapter One situates diaspora studies in the larger context of globalization, non-state actors, and transnational political activity. It clarifies some of the definitional issues and positions stateless diasporas in the literature with relevance to alternative political diaspora formations. A s well, it seeks to establish the relevance of diasporas in international relations, drawing on historical examples to emphasize the duration of diasporic activity in international affairs. Chapter Two establishes some of the underlying theoretical issues for diaspora identity formation and the modes of political activity conducted from outside the homeland. Theories of diaspora identity construction draw on the literature within diaspora studies, but additionally utilize concepts derived from ethnonational political attachment and nationalism more broadly. In order to assess various forms of diaspora political activity, the study builds on the Transnational Advocacy Network ( T A N ) model , but recognizes some of its limitations and essential 14  differences with diasporic activity. Finally, the chapter examines some of the external mechanisms that contribute to identity formation and political activity, with an emphasis on Canadian multicultural policies. Chapter Three presents a case study of Sikh and Tamil political diasporas in Canada. It surveys the relationship between communal identity and the homeland as well as political organization and activity directed at the homeland. Chapter Four positions Sikh and Tamil populations more firmly in the Canadian context, with a presentation of Canadian policies and government receptiveness to diaspora influence. B y way of conclusion, the study attempts to draw larger generalizations about diasporic transnational political behaviour and asks: a) are Tamil and Sikh diaspora politics similar to that of other stateless diaspora groups, b) does the Canadian context align with other liberal democratic states, and c) what are the practical policy recommendations based on the findings from this research?  Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Ithaca, N . Y . : Cornell University Press, 1998). 14  1  7  Chapter 1 - Diasporas and International Relations Despite long-standing historical studies about groups removed from ancestral homelands, comprehensive knowledge about political engagement from afar is relatively understudied. As remarked by Gabriel Sheffer, "our lack of knowledge about ethnonational diaspora communities is partly due to difficulties in conducting research into militant diasporas and partly due to a lack of interest on the part of the academic community."  15  As well, the study of transnational political activism and diaspora  populations often dissipates into the cracks between the disciplines of International Relations and Comparative Politics.  16  That said, the study of diasporas, and the politics  they engage in, has recently received increased attention, causing James Rosenau to claim that "it seems unimaginable that international relations theorists will not have to make a place for them in their analytical frameworks."  17  The increased salience of diaspora politics, according to Eva Ostergaard-Neilsen, has followed four major trends in the world system: increases in intrastate conflict, advances in technology and transportation, economic globalization and the formation of remittance economies, and the complexity of international relations in the post-cold war period.  18  First, modes of warfare in intrastate conflict have changed substantially to include the increased targeting of civilian populations and the use of external assistance other than states. Paul Collier and studies at the World Bank have detailed the strong correlation between diaspora populations and civil conflict, concluding that countries emerging from conflict with large diasporas abroad are twice as likely to return to conflict as those without diaspora populations.  19  In these "new" wars, Mary Kaldor remarks that  "alienated diaspora groups in advanced industrial or oil-rich countries provide ideas, funds and techniques, thereby imposing their own frustrations and fantasies on what is 1 5  Sheffer, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad. 60.  ' Adamson, "Mobilizing for the Transformation of Home: Politicized Identities and Transnational Practices." 6  1 7  James N . Rosenau, "Foreword," in Diasporas in World Politics: The Greeks in Comparative  Perspective, ed. Dimitri Constas and Athanassios Platias (London: MacMillan Press Ltd., 1993). xvii. Eva Ostergaard-Nielsen, "Diasporas in World Politics," in Non-State Actors in World Politics, ed. Daphne Josselin and William Wallace (New York: Palgrave, 2001). 18  1 9  Paul Collier, Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy (Washington:  World Bank Group, 2003).  8  often a very different situation."  20  More generally, she notes that because domestic  production declines dramatically in these types of conflict, fighting units must look outside to continue the struggle, thus reinforcing the war economy. Although not the only external element , diasporas play an important role in the nexus between conflict, migration, and external assistance. Second, with advances in technology and transportation, political practices have transcended new social spaces and clouded the geographical separation between the local and the global. The increased movement of people and ideas around the world has led to new forms of transnational activity. In the political sphere, according to Jose Itzigsohn, "we are witnessing new forms of intervention by the states of origin in the politics of the country of reception and systematic forms of intervention by immigrants in their country of origin."  22  As well, based on several conclusions, in an age of globalization, national  governments face a reduced capacity to control their borders, and an inability to restrict migration.  The result has been a highly dense set of networks linking cultural, social,  and political practices among a series of locales. The consequences have been myriad; remittances from the developed world make their way to impoverished regions, technology and ideas move with ease through the digital environment, and political expression transcends previously defined boundaries. The higher density of social networks has made it increasingly difficult to put boundaries around nationalistic political spheres and expressions of state-defined identity. It has also precipitated greater capital mobility which has given transnational actors an increased ability to tap into grey and illegal economic networks. For some this "long distance nationalism" allows migrant networks to maintain invaluable relations with social and economic practices from a  ~ Mary Kaldor, New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era; with an Afterword, January 2001 (Stanford, Calif.: Standford University Press, 2001). 7. See Byman et al., Trends in Outside Support for insurgent Movements. This study provides additional studies on the role of foreign aid and state-sponsorship for insurgent activity. Jose Itzigsohn, "Immigration and the Boundaries of Citizenship: The Institutions of Immigrants' Political Transnationalism," International Migration Review 34, no. 4 (2000). 1127. Jagdish Bhagwati, "Borders Beyond Control," Foreign Affairs January/February (2003). Bhagwati argues that because of this lack of agency over migration, a most likely successor will be the 'diaspora' model where the home country attempts to integrate present and past citizens "into a web of rights and obligations in the extended community." More cyclical forms of migration, especially in developing countries, may help to stem the "brain drain." u  21  2 2  2 j  9 distance, while for others, "today's long-distance nationalism strikes one as a probably menacing portent for the future."  24  Third, due to the increasing East-West and South-North movements of people, economic migrants potentially earn higher incomes than their counterparts in the homeland. Increased levels of wealth have often given the diaspora community an elevated potential to impact homeland politics through economic transfers, business, and development projects. Aware of this potential, several politicians have recognized the need to gain support from their diaspora populations abroad. Vicente Fox, for example, campaigned heavily in the US in order to influence the vote of Mexican economic migrants working in the US, and Jean-Bertrand Aristide once referred to Haitians in New York as Haiti's tenth province. The remittances these diasporas send to the homeland represent at times the largest source of external funding the country receives, and the power that emerges from this has substantial repercussions for the way in which politics is conducted between the diaspora and the homeland. Fourth, the post-Cold war environment has drastically altered international diplomacy. In many ways, the old parameters of containment and ideologically-driven foreign policy have given way to more universal concerns. Insurgencies that have lost state-sponsorship based on ideological considerations and have increasingly turned to diasporas for backing.  25  As well, many western states, such as Canada, have become  more actively involved in international human rights campaigns and a human security agenda that engages with developing world issues. Some argue that the changing conditions have given more room for maneuver among ethnic lobby groups to influence foreign policy towards their homelands. With forms of "new diplomacy" there is often more space for non-state actors to engage in diplomatic initiatives that were previously the sole preserve of state actors.  The result for many national governments has been an  increasing internationalization of domestic policy and the recognition that domestic policies have important connotations for foreign policy, and vice versa. The post-Cold  Benedict Anderson, "Exodus," in Critical Inquiry (University of Chicago Press, 1994). Byman et al., Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements. Sarah J. Mahler, "Constructing International Relations: The Role of Transnational Migrants and Other Non-State Actors.," in Identities (Taylor & Francis Ltd, 2000). 25  2 6  10  war environment has also seen dramatic increases in ethnic nationalism and the rise of conflict based on sub-national groupings.  1.1 Diaspora, Ethnic Group, Transmigrant, What's in a Name?  and Transnational  Actor-  Diaspora groups are positioned in a political space between international and domestic politics. By definition diasporas transcend the traditional notions of "national" political space, participating in the politics of two domestic environments as well as the international. Defined by Merriam Webster, "diaspora" refers to the "the settling of scattered colonies of Jews outside Palestine after the Babylonian exile" or more generally as "the breaking up and scattering of a people; people settled far from their ancestral homelands." Often, definitions of "diaspora" have hinged on the difference between involuntary migration that results in dispersed diaspora populations and the voluntary migration undertaken by economic migrants. The definition has become slightly less constrained in the modern era to refer to a number of groups and cultures that are removed from their homeland. It often combines groups seeking economic gain which maintain access to the homeland political system and involuntary migrants that are, at times, prevented from direct political participation in the homeland state. What distinguishes diaspora populations from those of immigrant or migrant populations is a communal relationship with the homeland that continues to grow and expand in the new place of residence. This study is particularly interested in ethno-national diasporas rather than diasporas equated with large ideological, pan-religious, linguistic, or cultural movements that span nationalities or ethnicities. Without delving too deeply into the definitional debates surrounding the concept of "diaspora", this study follows Gabriel Sheffer's definition 27  of ethno-national diasporas that includes a) a recognition that members belong to the same ethno-national origin, b) permanent residence as minorities in one or more countries, c) an established relationship with the homeland, d) cumulative decisions to maintain ethnic identity and solidarity with the group and the entire nation, and e) the  For more on definitional issues see Robin Cohen, Global Diasporas: An Introduction, Global Diasporas; l (London: U C L Press, 1997). And Sheffer, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad.  11 establishment of trans-state networks.  28  Importantly for this paper, William Safran  additionally notes, as part of a standard definition, that diasporas remain partially separate from the host society due to a lack of acceptance, and that protection of the homeland and its long-term survival remain of essential importance.  29  When diasporic study is broken  down further to examine the political activity of stateless groups, two of the definitional categories become more complex. In the first case, an "established relationship" with the homeland may be difficult to maintain when access is restricted by state authorities, as often occurs when a violent struggle emerges over contested areas. Second, preservation and long-term survival of the homeland can often be difficult for diasporas whose conceptions differ from established state authorities. The physical nature of the homeland may be contested by state governments, the international community, as well as segments of the diaspora and homeland community. Eva Ostergaard-Nielsen recognizes that the standard diaspora definitions do "not consider the difference between a diaspora in exile possessing no state with which to identify in their homeland, and a diaspora consisting of voluntary migrants identifying with the state they left."  30  In  defining diasporic homeland identity, then, it is imperative to discuss further the various identity associations that lie between the diaspora and the homeland. Identity links may exist, for example, between the diaspora and homeland state, regime, territory, or religious denomination (See Table 1 on p. 18). Semantically, there is often substantial overlap between the related concepts of diasporas, ethnic groups, transmigrants, and transnational actors. According to Tololyan, "an ethnic community differs from a diaspora by the extent to which the [ethnic community's] commitment to maintain connections with its homeland and its kin communities in other states is absent, weak, at best intermittent, and manifested by individuals rather than the community as a whole."  31  He also notes, however, that "the  lines separating ethnic groups from diasporas are not clear-cut, and they shift in response  2 8  Sheffer, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad. 9-10.  2 9  William Safran, "Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return," Diaspora: A  Journal of Transnational Studies 1, no. 1 (1991).  Ostergaard-Nielsen, "Diasporas in World Politics." 226. Again, it is not the distinction between involuntary and voluntary movement that is important, but the attachment to the homeland that shapes identity formation in the host country Khachig Tololyan, "Rethinking Diaspora(S): Stateless Power in the Transnational Moment," 30  31  Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 5, no. 1 (1996). 16.  12  to a complex dynamic."  There is little evidence to suggest that all ethnic minorities  form diasporic connections with the homeland, but conditions or events in either the host or home country may initiate political mobilization that takes on diasporic attributes. In this vein, then, diasporic identity is a fluid concept determined by a group's relationship with fellow ethnic members and the homeland. The term diaspora is also substantially separate from the concept of transmigrants. Although diasporas often engage in transnational behaviour that is similar to that of transmigrants, a transmigrant is an individual who maintains important links in both the host and homeland, often functioning as a dual citizen. What distinguishes a transmigrant from a diasporan is the relationship with the sending state. Most often, transmigrants engage in social relations between the sending and receiving states and are commonly acknowledged by both. For example, Mexican-Americans who travel to and from Mexico for seasonal work in the U.S. would be categorized as transmigrants. Diasporas, on the other hand, form social bonds based on a collective and communal form of identity, heritage and ancestry that may or may not be tied to a legitimate state.  33  Politically, the differences in definition and categories substantiate the claim that diasporas are distinguished by a communal attachment to the homeland and an active relationship that may or may not be restricted by homeland state authorities. Several studies have examined specific diasporas as examples of transnational actors. There is some discrepancy in the literature over the use of the term "transnationalism". For example, Sheffer views transnationalism as representing the collaborative efforts of individuals that go beyond "national" affiliations and a set of interests that are not tied to any particular territory. Wayland, on the other hand, 34  utilizes transnationalism "that refers to identities and intra-ethnic relations that transcend state borders."  3 2  3 3  35  For the purpose of this study, the term is closely related to the  Ibid. 17. Nina Glick Schiller, "Transmigrants and Nation-States: Something Old and Something New in  the U.S. Immigrant Experience," in The Handbook of International Migration: The American Experience, ed. Charles Hirschman, Philip Kasinitz, and Josh DeWind (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1999). Nina Glick Schiller adopts a narrow definition of diasporas that emphasizes the lack of ties to a contemporary state. 3 4  Sheffer, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad.  Sarah V . Wayland, "Ethnonationalist Networks and Transnational Opportunities: The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora," Review of International Studies 30 (2004). 408. This is also roughly the view proposed elsewhere by Steven Vertovec, "Conceiving and Researching Transnationalism.," in Ethnic & 3 5  13  conception provided by Wayland, and applied in a way that refers to politics that cross state political boundaries. This is a study of ethno-national diasporas, and hence, does not discuss multi-national groupings of transnational actors, such as occurs in regard to more general international human rights campaigns or environmental degradation. 1.2 Historical Relevance  and Diaspora  Typologies  It has been argued by several scholars that stateless diasporas are more prone to engage in political activism in the homeland. However, while this statement can be tested empirically, it is helpful to draw further conclusions about which types of stateless groups engage in certain forms of political behaviour. Often, what occurs is not a simple dichotomy between stateless and state-based diasporas, but a set of identity associations that include ideology, economics, religion, and territory. As well, classifications based on the type of diaspora and corresponding political activity have generally been vague and underdeveloped. Because of a lack of theoretical understanding for the ways in which stateless diasporas act politically, historical and comparative evaluations can be of assistance. According to Yossi Shain and Martin Sherman, "diaspora formations and secessionist claims are in fact endemic to a world order of nation-states, rather than anomalous anachronisms doomed to extinction."  It is certainly not the case that all  diaspora formations campaign for secession, but there are a number of links between diasporas, territorial freedom, and political identity. Historically, there has been a rather robust relationship between independence, secession, and irredentist movements motivated by outside forces. Independence leaders such as Ho Chi Minh and Mahatma Gandhi formulated strategic plans and ideas while living outside their home territory, the Ayatolla Khomeini activated the Islamic revolution from a base inside France , and leading intellectuals have often sought political exile in order to engage in political  Racial Studies  (Routledge, L t d . , 1999). A n d , Y a s e m i n N u h o g l u Soysal, "Citizenship and Identity: L i v i n g  in Diasporas in Post-War Europe?," in 3 6  Paradox o f Nation-States," 3 7  Ethnic & Racial Studies  (Routledge, L t d . , 2000).  Y o s s i Shain and Martin Sherman, "Dynamics o f Disintegration: Diaspora, Secession, and the  Nations and Nationalism  4, no. 3 (July, 1998). 339.  Michael S. Teitelbaum, "Immigration, Refugees, and Foreign Policy,"  Organization  38, no. 3 (1984).  International  14  debate without the fear of persecution.  As well, in the early 1900s, Dr. Sun Yat Sen 39  was pressured by the Chinese migrant diaspora to seize power in China.  The Jews, the  most prominent historical example, established, from outside the homeland territory, an autonomous nation-state in Palestine. However, there have been far fewer successful examples of secession campaigns conducted from outside, especially in the modern era. The Tibetan government-in-exile has worked for years for political independence from the Chinese government in Beijing, the Armenians for a long period maintained a functioning government outside Armenian territory, and the Irish diaspora has long campaigned for a united Ireland. Despite the recognition that political struggles can be waged from outside the political territory, with the exception of Israel, and some independence movements, the task of nation-building from afar has been relatively unsuccessful.  40  What, then, are the  motivations that lead many stateless diasporas to mobilize and organize in pursuit of independent homelands? In the literature, stateless diasporas are situated apart from those diasporas emanating from sovereign states and those that maintain links with internationally-recognized state authorities in the homeland. In many ways, this may be a subjective classification based on segments of the diaspora population. For instance, some members of the Kurdish diaspora may identify with the Turkish state while others primarily identify with a Kurdish homeland. It is the latter relationship that establishes a stateless identity construction. It is these stateless groups that are thought to engage more often in political activism. Gabriel Sheffer notes that "in the late 1990s, it was mainly transient migrants and members of stateless diasporas who were involved in insurgency and rebellion in host countries;" while on the other hand, "only relatively small and 41  marginal elements of state-linked diasporas will tend to become involved in proactive activities."  42  A study by RAND researchers has lent some merit to these observations  with members of the Kurdish, Kashmiri, Palestinian, Tamil, Punjabi, Kosovar, Irish and 3 8  T e r r e n c e L y o n s , " G l o b a l i z a t i o n , D i a p o r a s , a n d C o n f l i c t " ( p a p e r p r e s e n t e d at t h e G l o b a l i z a t i o n ,  Territoriality a n d Conflict Conference, University o f California, S a nDiego, January 16-18  2004).  D a p h n e N . W i n l a n d , '"Our H o m e a n dN a t i v e Land'? Canadian Ethnic Scholarship a n dthe  3 9  The Canadian Review ofSociology and Anthropology The Chinese in Canada ( O x f o r d : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 8 ) .  Challenge of Transnationalism," A n d , P. L i , 4 0  Clifford, "Diasporas." 307.  4 1  Sheffer,  4 2  Ibid. 2 5 .  Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad. 12.  35, no. 4  (1998).  15  Jewish diasporas offering "significant" support to insurgencies during the 1990s.  43  To  this list, Terrence Lyons adds the Oromo and Eritreans (pre-1991), and the Croats (pre1991).  44  This is not to say that state-linked diasporas have not mobilized to support political initiatives in the homeland. For example, various Lebanese and Algerian organizations mobilize around political conflict, Mexicans and Salvadorans campaign for trade and migration policy, and Muslim groups and the Falling Gong actively protest religious repression. Acting outside of a repressive political environment, diasporas in general maintain greater agency to organize and protest on a wide range of issues. However, there is ample evidence to suggest that stateless diasporas are more prone to engage in long-term, sustained political activity that is hostile to homeland state interests.  45  In many cases, the identity relationship with homeland territory becomes the  essence of community survival in host countries. The intensity of these claims is further compounded by the importance of territorial sovereignty in international relations, and the willingness of homeland state authorities to counter diasporic interests. Because territorial issues often structure core identity complexes for both homeland states and the diaspora, there is a tendency for both sides to remain committed to demarcated territorial boundaries. The territorial dynamic may be contrasted by identity associations involving religion, ideology, or economics, which can often shift along individual preferences. Several studies have attempted to create typologies and categories for diasporas and for their resulting political activity. Diasporas have been grouped by time period with classical diasporas represented by the Greeks and the Jews, modern diasporas emerging with colonization, slavery, and the interwar period, and contemporary diasporas 4 J  Daniel Byman, Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements (Santa Monica, C A : Rand,  2001).  Lyons, "Globalization, Diaporas, and Conflict". One case that this does not appear to have occurred as of yet is among the Roma of Eastern Europe. So far, there has been relatively little political organization among the Roma diaspora in various host countries to appeal to minority rights in their country of origin. The principal difference may lie in the fact that the Roma homeland is a "mythical" concept and the Roma have traditionally been a nomadic people. This case and others like it, bring about considerations of whether a nomadic people or a stateless group without a traditional homeland maintain political strategies similar to more territorially established ethnic communities. A l Qaeda, for example, does not fit the classic definition of a diaspora nor is it an ethno-national group, however, there is a chance that various segments of the Muslim or Arab overseas population could come to identify most strongly with the A l Qaeda movement in multiple host states. Due to the absence of a shared history and primordial ties to territory, this type of identity association may be more difficult to sustain in the long-term from abroad. 4 4  4 5  16  that have originated in the post-colonial period.  46  More elaborately, Robin Cohen has  developed a multifaceted typology that places historical groups into categories of labour diasporas, trade diasporas, imperial diasporas, cultural diasporas and a final category of "victim diasporas".  47  In this last category Cohen has included the Irish, the Jews,  Africans, and Armenians. In light of the massive increases in international migration, it appears necessary to expand the category of "victim" diasporas further to assess behaviour in a more complete manner.  For example, the primary classification of  contemporary diasporas is one that signifies the differences between "labour diasporas" those who migrate for economic reasons, and "victim diasporas" - those who migrate involuntarily. Relations with the homeland among "victim diasporas" occur for the most part as political activism to address the causes that forced the migration. However, as conditions change in the homeland, it is possible that "labour diasporas" may take on "victim diaspora" attributes. For example, this has happened with the Sikhs and Croats. The "victim" label applied to numerous diasporas may be a result of territorial, ideological, religious, or economic factors, each of which influences the level of diasporic political activism. One of the principal determinants for diasporic political activity is the relationship with the homeland and the primary identity association the diaspora maintains with the homeland. It appears imperative, then, to classify diasporas more explicitly on the link with homeland authorities, especially whether affiliations involve a confrontational or cooperative relationship. It has been noted that many stateless diasporas act confrontationally toward homeland authorities. That said, a number of state-based diasporas also engage in confrontational relationships with homeland state authorities. It is also the case that state-based diasporas involved in cooperative relationships with the homeland state may be politically mobilized. The Israeli/Jewish diaspora, since the creation of Israel, has continued to act politically in the diaspora. This type of political activity, however, is very different from that exhibited in confrontational diaspora-homeland affiliations. Table One presents a preliminary sketch of categories to distinguish between different subsets of confrontational and cooperative  For more see Michele Reis, "Theorizing Diaspora: Perspectives on "Classical" and "Contemporary" Diaspora," International Migration 42, no. 2 (2004). And, Cohen, Global Diasporas: An Introduction. Cohen, Global Diasporas: An Introduction. 4 7  17  diasporas in order to highlight the differential position of stateless diasporas in the global context. The table is laid out to feature a spectrum of confrontational activities, beginning with territorial confrontations and ending with cooperative diaspora-homeland state relations. In this typology, state-based diasporas have been further broken down into various confrontational and cooperative relationships. Because there are no empirical examples of cooperative stateless diaspora-homeland relationships, this category remains undivided.  18  Table 1: Categorizing Confrontational a n d Cooperative Ethno-National Diasporas: Selected E x a m p l e s Confrontational and Cooperative Homeland Relationships  Diaspora Political Organization  Diaspora Political Goals and Methods  Likelihood of Political Violence or Radical Factions  Examples  Stateless/Territorial Confrontational  • Concentrated and organized, politically active  " Territorial claims i.e. secession or irredentism • Conflictual relationship with state authorities in the homeland accompanied by direct and indirect confrontation  High  Jews (pre-Israel) Sikhs Tamils Kurds Eritreans (pre-1991) Roma Irish Croatians (pre-1994) Kashmiris Armenians Palestinians Acehnese East Timorese Kosovars Basques  State-based Confrontational (Ideological/Political)  • Generally high levels of organization in the initial stages  • Lobby sympathetic governments for regime change or sanctions • Look for an opportunity to return to the homeland (especially if part of government-inexile)  Medium  Haitians (pro-Aristide) Cubans Koreans (pre-1987) Hungarians Iranians Colombians  48  49  This classification can be synonymous with the reason for leaving, but not necessarily. Once established in a host country, the diaspora-homeland relationship may change and fluctuate. The type of diaspora designation is based on the core identity relationship the diaspora possesses in regard to the homeland at the time.  19  State-based Confrontational (Religious)  • Highly dependent on tolerance in host societies  State-based Confrontational (Economic)  • High levels of organization within some segments of the diaspora • Most often premised on individual preferences  State-based Cooperative  • Political organization may be initiated from the sending state, the host state, or within the diaspora  • Campaign for political or religious pluralism/tolerance • Lobby for international recognition of distinct religious practices • Secure the flow of financial remittances • Lobby host and home governments for business and economic security  Medium  Falang Gong Tibetan-Buddhists Indian-Sikhs Lebanese-Christians Sri Lankan-Tamils  Low  Salvadorans Mexicans Chinese Filipinos Vietnamese  • Maintenance and recognition of cultural rights • Lobbying efforts in the host country in support of homeland policies  Low  Japanese Greeks Israeli Italians Spanish Indians  There is the potential that groups can be placed in more than one category. For example, in some ways the Tibetans and Sikhs represent both territorial and religious diasporas. They still remain in the stateless class of diaspora, but the core identity may take on either territorial or religious overtones. The argument would follow that those claims that are based in territorial claims are most likely to be communal, conflictual, and receptive to violent forms of politics.  20  As detailed in the preceding table, studies on stateless diasporas are relatively divorced from the traditional literature on political diasporic activity. Some of the major research trends tend to focus on the relationship between the homeland state and its diaspora, especially those aiming to secure the continuation of remittances , political 50  lobbying on behalf of the homeland state, and citizenship issues that permit or dissuade migrants from participating in two political systems. Almost always, stateless diasporas possess political ambitions that run counter to homeland state goals, and the relationship between the two is conflictual. These aspects make the "triadic" relationship between diaspora, homeland, and host country slightly more intricate in the case of stateless diasporas, in part because they reside outside state-led activity that is assumed in much of international relations theory. This becomes especially important when homeland territory and place of origin serve as a basis for identity formation within the diaspora. Depending on their position in the host country, excluded diaspora populations and ethnic communities often look towards the homeland for a measure of worth and value. This has frequently motivated diasporas to take action on behalf of the homeland state in order to increase the attached prestige that emanates from homeland territory.  51  In regard to stateless diasporas, this  route to increased status is made more problematic by the legitimacy and stigma attached to recognized state entities. It is therefore not surprising that many stateless diasporas have as their primary goal, the establishment of a homeland territory from which they are able to derive moral and cultural support. Often, this project serves dual purposes. On the one hand, the diaspora works to better its position in a host country by elevating the status of the homeland. On the other hand, the homeland community may petition the diaspora to support the homeland agenda. Territorial relationships can be contrasted with diaspora activity that is driven solely by ideological, political, or religious considerations in the homeland. Quite often,  Itzigsohn, "Immigration and the Boundaries of Citizenship: The Institutions of Immigrants' Political Transnationalism." This has most explicitly been seen, for example, in the case of Japanese and Mexican groups in the U.S. which have sought to increase the position of the home state for the purpose of influencing their status in the U.S. For more see Glick Schiller, "Transmigrants and Nation-States: Something Old and Something New in the U.S. Immigrant Experience." 5 0  51  21  these movements lack the intensity and the duration of territorial-based political aspirations.  For example, the Haitian diaspora campaigned heavily in conjunction with  NGOs to bring awareness of the large groups of migrants supposedly fleeing persecution from the Duvalier regime.  However, once the regime had been overthrown, the Haitian  diaspora reduced its political activities. Often, there are cases where religious, ideological, and economic grievances overlap with territorial claims, and these movements have the capacity to be sustained from the diaspora. As is the case with many religion-based claims (i.e., Sikhs, Tibetan Buddhists), it is often difficult to disentangle separatist or irredentist claims from the goals of religious freedom. The argument here, though, is that diasporic political movements are more likely to persist over time if there is a territorial claim attached to homeland interests.  It should be noted  that the agency for diasporic political activity may emerge from the diaspora itself or may be promoted by events that occur in the homeland. By many accounts, the nationbuilding project for an independent Sikh state originated within the diaspora and subsequently drove events in the homeland. In contrast, elections and regime change, have at various times, compelled the Iranian diaspora to become more politically active. These preliminary observations lead to the question of whether generalizations can be drawn for diaspora motivations that are linked with homeland territory as opposed to those that are linked to ideological or regime considerations.  If so, what makes these  political dynamics more intense than those based around political ideology or culture? According to Shain and Wittes, political trade-offs based on territory are more problematic in diaspora communities because they account for identity formation rather than practical value.  54  Ideological diasporas such as the Iranians, Vietnamese, and Chinese have been relatively apolitical in contrast to those.based on the recovery or creation o f national territory. There may have been more scope for ideological considerations during the C o l d War period, as evidenced by both the Korean and Filipino diasporas, but this trend may be decreasing in the complex political environment that characterizes the post-Cold war environment. 32  Teitelbaum, "Immigration, Refugees, and Foreign Policy." 440. Shain and Wittes, "Peace as a Three-Level Game: T h e Role o f Diasporas in C o n f l i c t Resolution." 5 j  5 4  22  Chapter 2 - Diaspora Identity, Political Activity, and Host State Influence Communal identity structures that both emerge within the diaspora and are transplanted from the homeland environment are of premier concern for the study of stateless diasporas. Shain and Sherman note that immigrants have often asserted identity with the homeland that is shaped by experiences abroad "whether due to their exposure to exclusion and hardships in their new countries of domicile, even though libertarian, or because of their distinctively peculiar religious obligations."  55  Based on this assertion, it  is important to note that communal identity within the diaspora follows a two part equation. It involves, in the first part, an identity (re)creation that takes place within a host state political structure that has distinct ways of incorporating minority groups. The second part entails the transformation or continuity of traditional practices transplanted from the homeland environment. Importantly, identity formation does not occur in isolation from larger societal dictates and government policies, nor is it solely dictated by homeland conditions. It is premised upon a series of interacting relationships that include host country society, government policies and ties to the homeland. One cannot look solely at the relationship with the homeland or at conditions in the host country in order to understand identity construction and thus political activity that emerges from this construction. The following diagram (Figure One) demonstrates a transnational conceptual framework for diasporic identity (re)construction. The fact that diasporas are physically located within a national context (and the accompanying legalistic, economic, and social conditions this entails), the host country, is denoted by a frame that represents the political boundary of the host country.  Yossi Shain and Martin Sherman, "Diasporic Transnational Financial Flows and Their Impact on National Identity.," in Nationalism & Ethnic Politics (Frank Cass & Company Ltd., 2001). 332.  23  Figure 1: Diasporic Identity Construction - External and Internal Mechanisms Host Country  2.1 Communal  Interests and Identity  (Re)Construction  As individuals, members of the diaspora maintain a set of political interests and goals that may involve self-interest, social status, family, or homeland affairs. In this sense, diaspora populations maintain a series of overlapping identities in regard to their position in the homeland and in the host country. Diaspora populations also take part in politics that are not directed at the homeland that may focus on, for example, citizenship, social benefits, and immigration issues in the host country. The difference, however, is that this type of political activism may be based on individual motivations or small group action. It differs from the type of diaspora politics that occurs primarily at the collective or communal level. As noted by Tololyan, a group "can be transformed into a collective subject (as a dispersion can be re-named a diaspora) only when it is interpellated by a new discourse that directs its gaze beyond the ethnic enclave, to the homeland, to other dispersions, and to a more active collective engagement with the dominant national group and the state apparatus." This is not to suggest that the diaspora, as a whole, perceives a 56  common and inclusive political relationship in regard to the homeland, but it recognizes that homeland associations and relationships play a large role in the identity formation of  Tololyan, "Rethinking Diaspora(S): Stateless Power in the Transnational Moment."24.  24  diaspora communities and differs from traditional immigration patterns. Winland agrees and notes that "rather than view patriotic/nationalist sentiments and expressions as periodic blips in an immigrant adaptation process, transnationalism should be seen as playing a central and continuous role in the construction of diasporan identity."  57  Although the relationship with the homeland may fluctuate over time, and remains latent at times, it continues to serve as a fundamental basis for identity throughout the tenure in the host country. An analysis of diaspora identity recognizes that group formation comprises an accumulation of individual decision-making, but that the final result is a communal position and attachment. As pointed out by Tololyan, "the distinguishing diasporan feature tends to be the existence of a multitiered minority, consisting of the committed, the activists, and sometimes a handful of radical activists or militants."  58  The resulting  form of political organization, however, is a group dynamic, and although the political tactics may, at times, favour the minority, most diaspora members maintain some contact with or need for the group's political factions. As well, the community as a whole can sometimes be viewed both subjectively and objectively through the lens of diasporic identity.  59  Anthony D. Smith believes that "individuals, although important, are no  longer treated as the key to defining and explaining the nature and durability of collectivities."  60  He continues to assert that the power of ethnic nationalism is most  clearly demonstrated at the "collective level of identity and community."  61  There are three distinct theoretical ways of looking at why "diasporan communities actively maintain a collective memory that is a foundational element of their distinct identity" : essentialism, instrumentalism, and social construction. The first is the 62  belief that communities develop around a shared sense of primordial relationship with the homeland, a biological, blood relationship with ethnic kin, and an attachment to a  Winland, '"Our Home and Native Land'? Canadian Ethnic Scholarship and the Challenge of Transnationalism." 565. Tololyan, "Rethinking Diaspora(S): Stateless Power in the Transnational Moment." 18-19. Michel S. Laguerre, Diasporic Citizenship: Haitian Americans in Transnational America (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998). 8. Anthony D. Smith, "The Ethnic Sources of Nationalism," Survival 35, no. 1 (1993). 49. Ibid. 49. Tololyan, "Rethinking Diaspora(S): Stateless Power in the Transnational Moment." 13. Emphasis in original. 5 8 5 9  6 0  6 1  6 2  25  particular geographical space. In this line of reasoning, physical markers such as skin colour, race, and facial features and cultural traits such as language, food, clothing, history, and customs, serve as the indicators for communal groupings. It also suggests that these attachments are immutable and resistant to change and are not susceptible to elite manipulation. Smith remarks that the instrumental view of nationalism "assumes that ethnicity is plastic and malleable ... and that nations and nationalism are both recent and the product of specifically modern conditions like the modern state, bureaucracy, secularism and 63  capitalism."  The instrumentalist outlook on group identity construction may follow two  paths: self-interest on behalf of the migrant group or elite construction among leaders in the diaspora. In the first case, Sheffer cites the existence of local organizations created to provide physical protection for the diaspora. Identification with the ethnic diaspora 64  may also be motivated by transitions from the homeland to the new country of residence, which help to establish social and economic networks, housing and employment assistance, and financial and communication services back to the homeland. Sheffer observes that "most diasporas choose as their preferred strategy communal ism, which is a dynamic effort to create and maintain elaborate networks of voluntary organizations that complement host-state organizations in catering to the various needs of the members of the diaspora."  65  Other scholars maintain that diaspora identity is a social construction defined by elites. Charles King and Neil Melvin argue that "like nations, diasporas are constructed by political-cultural elites."  66  This is done primarily for political interest, which King  and Melvin believe will always trump identity issues. These notions are echoed by Smith, who remarks that "the ethnie in question must have produced a stratum of ethnic intellectuals and an intelligentsia who will apply the ideals of national self-determination Anthony D. Smith, "Culture, Community and Territory: The Politics of Ethnicity and Nationalism," International Affairs 72, no. 3 (1996). 446. Sheffer, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad. He notes that "Korean communities in the U.S., for example, have established defence organizations to deal with threats and attacks launched by AfroAmericans." 68. Gabriel Sheffer, "Ethnic Diasporas: A Threat to Their Hosts?," in International Migration and Security, ed. Myron Weiner (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993). 269. Charles King and Neil J. Melvin, "Diaspora Politics.," in International Security (MIT Press, 1999). 109. b i  6 4  6 5  6 5  26  to the ethnie in question and disseminate those ideals to its members."  67  Smith's  conception differs in the fact that elite interests serve a maintenance role rather than an initiating force for communal identity. Falling somewhere between the primordial and instrumental approaches is the view that nationalism involves a set of psychological attachments to myths, beliefs and symbols. According to Walker Connor, "the essence of the nation is a psychological bond that joins a people and differentiates it, in the subconscious conviction of its members, from all nonmembers in a most vital way." The term, "ethnic", utilized by 68  Smith to refer to collective consciousness about nationalism consists of a "named human population with a myth of common ancestry, shared memories and cultural elements, a link with a historic territory or homeland and a measure of solidarity."  69  This view of  collective nationalism in contrasted in other studies by the belief that collective ethnic action is simply a individual decision motivated by rational, self-interested behaviour. Sheffer argues that primordial, instrumentalist and constructivist approaches to ethnic identity are all necessary in order to explain the dynamics.  70  In agreement, Smith notes  that instrumentalism "fails to explain why ethnic conflicts are so often intense and unpredictable, and why the 'masses' should so readily respond to the call of ethnic origin and culture."  71  He believes that collective identity is an assortment of individual choices,  but that the total represents a collective grouping that is premised not entirely on rational choice. In combination with a recognition that diasporic identity is a fluid concept, it follows that motivating dynamics will also fluctuate over space and time. As noted by Winland, "all diaspora communities, particularly those with a long settlement history, are  Smith, "The Ethnic Sources of Nationalism." 59. Walker Connor, Ethnonationalism : The Quest for Understanding (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994). 197. Smith, "The Ethnic Sources of Nationalism." 49. Gabriel Sheffer, "From Diasporas to Migrants, from Migrants to Diasporas," in Diasporas and Ethnic Migrants: Germany, Israel and Post-Soviet Successor States in Comparative Perspective, ed. Rainer Munz and Rainer Ohliger (London: Frank Cass, 2003). Also arguing in this vein are Walker Connor and Anthony D. Smith. To the list of factors some theorists add environmental factors. In an analysis of diasporic identity, these environmental factors become important in mapping out the ways in which a new and foreign environment impacts the collective identity in the ethnie. Smith, "Culture, Community and Territory: The Politics of Ethnicity and Nationalism." 446. 0 /  6 8  6 9  7 0  71  27 characterized by some form of differentiation [and] these differences often take on new dimensions when social and political changes occur in the country of origin."  72  Highlighting nationalism that is based on social construction are the views posited by Benedict Anderson and his vision of "imagined communities," a sense of belonging formulated by a group of individuals who may never come into contact with each other.  73  The notion of a dispersed population with common nationalistic feelings is an especially pertinent notion in the study of diasporas. This view has primarily been expressed through the power of "new media" (i.e., communication technologies and access to information) to influence, shape, and mediate forms of ethnic belonging from a distance. Sheffer recognizes that "the availability of sophisticated modern means of communication, that is, the 'new media', reduces the costs involved in non-structural communal organization and unplanned activities."  74  Khachig Tololyan also recognizes  the power of media and technology to shape identity formations - "today and in the near, digital future, these commitments and institutions will no doubt adapt to new areas of self-representation and diasporic practice, and will try to recruit, or will even clash, with diasporic individuals who insistently fine more personalized ways of enacting their rapidly changing diasporic consciousness and identities."  75  Much has been theorized about the rise of virtual communities and the deterritorialization of migrant groups. Technological space represents the role Arjun Appadurai ascribes to mediascapes and technoscapes as, "more persons throughout the world see their lives through the prisms of the possible lives offered by the mass media in all their forms". Technology, through email, the Internet, chat-rooms, and newsgroups 76  has facilitated communication among the diaspora network as well as between host and home country, but it is unclear as to what type of political activity this has produced and what it has meant for individual diaspora communities in particular locales. Karim H . Karim notes that, "while a cyber-network does not allow for the same level of interaction as a real community, it facilitates communication to a much greater extent than that has Winland, '"Our Home and Native Land'? Canadian Ethnic Scholarship and the Challenge of Transnationalism." 560. Benedict R. O'G Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London ; New York: Verso, 1991). Sheffer, "Ethnic Diasporas: A Threat to Their Hosts?." 33. Khachig Tololyan, "Diasporas and Disciplinarity Today," (Wesleyan University). 11. Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. 198. 72  73  74  75  7 6  28 been previously possible for diaspora groups."  77  The clearest indication of change has  been an increased political awareness, the ability to reach out to others in the diaspora, and the capacity to organize simultaneous events/demonstrations.  2.2 Identity and Territory The fact that territory often plays an important role in ethnic identity construction suggests that there are primordial attachments to defined ancestral homelands. For those groups living in the diaspora, links to the homeland territory are not physically lived, but experienced through shared memories and psychological connections. Smith makes it clear that "what is crucial for ethnicity is not the possession of the homeland, but the sense of mutual belonging even from afar."  The relationship between identity and  territory involves a complex set of dynamics and ethnic group orientation. This sense of identity and place becomes even more complicated when groups with collective identities reside in a context removed from the group's traditional homeland. It is often necessary to "highlight the social significance of the distinction between locality (in the sense of 'place' or physical proximity) and territory (or what might be referred to as 'soil' or 'homeland' or ancestral birthplace)."  79  Smith notes that geographic construction is, "the  process by which certain kinds of shared memories are attached to particular territories so that the former [memories] become ethnic landscapes (or ethnoscapes) and the latter [territory] become historic homelands."  This occurs through a technique which he calls  the 'territorialization of memory'. Among stateless diasporas, the project of defining ethnic space and demarcating political boundaries has important repercussions for the way in which ethnic identity is framed.  " Karim H. Karim, Diasporas and Their Communication Networks: Exploring the Broader Context of Transnational Narrowcasting [Web Page] (Virtual Diasporas and Global Problem Solving Project Papers, Nautilus Institute, [cited 11/18/03 2003]); available from 14. Smith, "The Ethnic Sources of Nationalism." 51. Paul Kennedy and Victor Roudometof, "Communities across Borders under Globalising Conditions: New Immigrants and Transnational Cultures," (Oxford: Transnational Communities Programme, Economic and Social Research Council, 2001). 20. Smith, "Culture, Community and Territory: The Politics of Ethnicity and Nationalism." 453-454 7 8  7 9  8 0  29  Although all ethnic groups maintain links with territory and physical landmarks, some diasporans and migrants have never had personal contact with ancestral homelands. For this reason, aspects of territory and identity may vary across sets of emigrant waves as well as generations. There are those who argue that the reasons for leaving the homeland greatly affect attachment to the homeland in the receiving country.  81  Portes,  for one, believes that political refugees that leave on a collective basis are much more likely to take an active political stance towards the homeland than economic migrants who more often leave on an individual level.  82  On the other hand, Sheffer argues that  "identifying the reasons for migration from the homelands is not crucial for an understanding of the nature of diasporas, their organization, and their behaviour in host 83  countries."  Sheffer believes that this is only important when diaspora populations  maintain a desire to return to the homeland. Likewise, he considers that economic status at the time of emigration is equally unimportant, as all migrant groups face similar adjustment obstacles upon arrival in the host country. Empirically, this line of reasoning appears counterintuitive. For example, those migrants arriving in the business class in Canada have far less need for the type of community assistance and support needed by economic and political refugees. However, in terms of identity retention and homeland status, economic standing may be of less importance. Similarly, many scholars argue that political activism is a trend among first-generation immigrants with declining activism in subsequent generations.  84  Territorial concerns, geographic conditions, and physical space also impact the differences between diasporas and immigrants as well as the separation between stateless and state-based diasporas. Among those who argue that diasporas maintain the potential ' Terrence Lyons places importance on those migrants who are fleeing conflict situations, which he describes as a particular type of "conflict-generated" diaspora. As well, Rohan Gunaratna details distinct differences between waves of Tamil migrants that range from economic reasons to conflict. Portes, "Conclusion: Towards a New World~the Origins and Effects of Transnational Activities.." Sheffer, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad. 76. See for example, Rohan Gunaratna, "Internationalisation of the Tamil Conflict (and Its Implications)," in Conflict and Community in Contemporary Sri Lanka: 'Pearl of the East' or the 'Island of Tears'?, ed. Siri Gamage and I.B. Watson, Studies on Contemporary South Asia No. 3 (New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1999). As well, Fuglerud argues that cohesiveness and strength is established in the Tamil diaspora because they are members of one generation, 0ivind Fuglerud, Life on the Outside: The Tamil Diaspora and Long Distance Nationalism, Anthropology, Culture, and Society (London ; Sterling, Va.: Pluto Press, 1999). 8  8 2  8 3  8 4  30 for a more radical and fundamental approach to the homeland, there are three principal explanations: a) a sense of guilt for leaving the homeland, b) a lack of accountability, and c) a physical distance that creates a distorted or romanticized memory of the homeland. As Byman, et al note, "sometimes these communities may also feel a sense of guilt because they are safe while their kin are involved in a brutal and bloody struggle".  83  This  feeling may occur as part of all diaspora consciousness, but is especially prevalent among groups departing conflict zones, and as mentioned previously those that emigrate in collective fashion. High support for continued conflict and territorial freedom has been detailed by the substantial correspondence between battlefield victories and homeland funding.  86  Operating abroad, diasporas also face far fewer repercussions for their political actions. Benedict Anderson, for one, notes that 'long-distance nationalism' "creates a serious politics that is at the same time radically unaccountable."  87  He continues to  remark that this type of actor does not pay taxes, fear torture or prison, and from a comfortable base in the developed world, "he can send money and guns, circulate propaganda, and build intercontinental computer information circuits, all of which can have incalculable consequences in the zones of their ultimate destinations."  88  The  implications for modes of "long-distance nationalism" are also compounded by geographical distance and the various lenses through which relationships with the homeland are viewed. Appadurai speaks of the deterritorialization created by distance, media, ideas, and ethnicity and notes that, "the homeland is partly invented, existing only in the imagination of the deterritorialized groups, and it can sometimes become so OQ •  fantastic and one-sided that it provides the fuel for new ethnic conflicts." The potential for sustained political activity and radical solutions can be further bolstered by the differentiation between stateless diasporas and state-based diasporas. First, as evidenced by ethnic attachments to territory, stateless groups remain in an indeterminate state in both the home and the host country. Without autonomous political control over the ancestral homeland, stateless groups lack a sense of security. When 85 8 6 87 88  89  Byman et al., Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements. 55. Ibid. 55. Anderson, "Exodus." 327. Ibid. 327.  Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. 193.  31 homeland territory shapes communal identity in the diaspora, independence or cultural recognition may become a matter of survival. Second, stateless groups, who are often persecuted and restricted politically in the homeland operate in relative openness in the host state. Similar to Anderson's notion of unaccountability, stateless diasporas can voice opposition without fears of reprisal from home state authorities.  90  Leaders are also  free to distribute potentially subversive material and all diaspora members have greater access to independent media. Third, as opposed to state-based diasporas, stateless diasporas often act in autonomous fashion. Where state-based diasporas function along institutionalized channels of interaction because of an affdiation with the ethnic majority in power, stateless diasporas may develop new modes of interaction to affect policies in the homeland. Some of this autonomy is compromised, however, if diasporic goals clash with those of ethnic kin in the homeland. For example, Armenian diaspora emphasis on international recognition for the genocide has not always meshed with Armenian interests at home.  2.4 Identity and the Host Country The internal identity constructions of migrant communities are also complemented by host country government policy and societal conditions. According to 0stergaard-Neilsen, "it has been noted that contexts that are less receptive of immigrants tend to encourage a stronger identification with the homeland."  91  There is some evidence  to suggest, however, that countries identified as receptive to diversity, immigration and ethnic pluralism maintain policies that foster cultural preservation and an orientation toward homeland events. It is important, then, to look at receiving state policies and the domestic environment to assess further diasporic identity formation. For example, what influence do local environments and institutions exert on the political practices of diaspora groups? 0stergaard-Neilsen notes that "the receiving state plays a central role  Unaccountability here must be qualified due to the fact that many diaspora members have family and friends at home and some retain property. As well, home state authorities do have the potential to infiltrate host countries in order to limit subversive activities. Eva Ostergaard-Nielsen, "The Politics of Migrants' Transnational Political Practices" (paper presented at the Transnational Migration: Comparative Perspectives, Princeton University, 2001). 11. 9 0  91  32 by setting the boundaries of inclusion, exclusion, and citizenship, allowing or prohibiting various forms of political mobilization within their boundaries." In Canada, the principal institution affecting minority rights and in turn, diasporic claims, is multiculturalism. Multicultural policies have a substantial role in setting the terms and conditions by which ethnic political activism may emerge. Since its adoption in 1971, multiculturalism has become a key element of both Canadian institutions and a marker of its national identity. As noted by Wayland, "multiculturalism is not to be viewed as a temporary situation which will eventually give way to assimilationist forces but rather as an essential component of Canadian identity."  93  Differing from  assimilationist models of ethnic pluralism, multiculturalism embraces diversity and promotes the integrity of ethnic interests. Particularly in Canada, multiculturalism has been premised on the acknowledgement of a diverse and plural society, recognition of the affirmative benefits this has for the nation, and an appreciation that cultural diversity positively adds to the societal constitution.  94  The benefits and drawbacks of multicultural  policies have been highly debated issues, both nationally in Canada and internationally as a model for other societies. Of direct relevance to diasporic activity with the homeland, there are four components of Canadian multiculturalism that have the capacity to highlight the importance of homeland relationships: a) a form of cultural recognition that is based on sovereign sending states, b) a potentially conflictual relationship between group identity and liberal individualism, c) policies that encourage ethnic concentration and affect voting patterns, and d) the privileging of culture and tradition over a more 'modern' and cosmopolitan framework. The first factor affects most directly stateless diasporas and the hegemonic basis by which cultural diversity and recognition is defined. As noted earlier, many diasporas draw cultural recognition and status from the homeland. Canadian multiculturalism is Ibid. 14. The political role of sending countries is also important in defining political practices, however, this study is interested primarily in explaining the impact of diasporas residing in liberal democratic states. As well, in the case of stateless diasporas, political activity between the homeland and the diaspora is almost always conflictual. 0stergaard-Neilsen has concluded that the links, however, between inclusive and exclusive political systems are difficult to predict. She believes that multicultural states may be disinclined to permit homeland politics because of their inclusive policies. Sarah V . Wayland, "Immigration, Multiculturalism and National Identity in Canada.," in InlernationalJournal on Minority & Group Rights (Martinus Nijhoff, 1997). 50. Augie Fleras and Jean Leonard Elliott, Multiculturalism in Canada: The Challenge of Diversity (Scarborough, Ont.: Nelson Canada, 1992). 9 2  9 j  9 4  33 "predicated on the assumption that the national origins of immigrants provide the natural building blocks upon which immigrant communities are formed."  95  When this homeland  is internationally contested, cultural groups face distinct difficulties in proclaiming cultural independence and hence the multicultural benefits that flow from this recognition. The results, as explicitly espoused by Charles Taylor, can be that "nonrecognition or misrecognition can inflict harm, can be a form of oppression, imprisoning someone in a false, distorted, and reduced mode of being."  96  Evidenced by  immigration and refugee statistics defined by country of origin, Canada's multicultural policies have generally reinforced the prevailing international state system. Stateless diaspora groups that are lumped together under national rubrics often face distinct obstacles toward cultural recognition and host-state protection. Ralph R. Premdas recognizes this contention in a study of Indo-Caribbean populations in Toronto, noting that in official data collection "Indo-Caribbean persons had to choose from either 'SouthAsian' or 'Black/Caribbean' categories."  97  The result was that "their self-ascribed  cultural particularity was rendered invisible by virtue of their being subsumed under a wider polyglot Caribbean identity."  98  The second contention marks one of the most significant debates among political philosophers regarding the compatibility of liberalism with multicultural ism  9 9  When  these two ideologies clash, in what Rhoda Howard-Hassman labels 'illiberal multiculturalism', "the group takes precedence" , and policies have the capacity to 100  privilege group values over individual rights. She continues to claim, though, that Canada promotes a liberal multiculturalism that recognizes individual interests over that Winland, '"Our Home and Native Land'? Canadian Ethnic Scholarship and the Challenge of Transnationalism." 567. Charles Taylor and Amy Gutmann, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition: An Essay (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992). 25. Ralph R. Premdas, "Diaspora and Its Discontents: A Caribbean Fragment in Toronto in Quest of Cultural Recognition and Political Empowerment.," in Ethnic & Racial Studies (Routledge, Ltd., 2004). 550. Ibid. 550. In philosophical musings on multiculturalism and diversity, Charles Taylor has sought to reconcile liberalism with the designation of "distinct societies". He notes that "a society with strong collective goals can be liberal, on this view, provided it is also capable of respecting diversity, especially when dealing with those who do not share its common goals; and provided it can offer adequate safeguards for fundamental rights." See Taylor and Gutmann, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition: An Essay. 59. Rhoda E. Howard-Hassman, ""Canadian" as an Ethnic Category: Implications for Multiculturalism and National Unity," Canadian Public Policy xxv, no. 4 (1999). 526. 9 5  9 6  9 7  9 8  9 9  1 0 0  34 of the group. Yasmeen Abu-Laban, however, argues that it is a lack of understanding that individuals hold varying sets of identities that overlap with those of group culture. She aptly notes that "rather than multiculturalism, it is essentialist thinking, imagery and ideas which present the greatest 'problem' to the ethics of liberalism and the politics of liberal democracies like Canada."  101  Importantly for diaspora politics, she does note that  because multiculturalism elevates culture as a basis for identity, there is the risk that it will favour segments of the group over others and reinforce dominant power structures. In her framework, the result is that gender biases will privilege male over female and often the old (traditional) over the young. As well, in the diaspora, multiculturalism may promote the interests of those that conform most closely to traditional cultural views and practices. When a proclaimed "diaspora" contains several ethnicities, as is the case among South Asian, or Indian diasporas, the dominant power structures may bolster the cultural claims of the sovereign majority over underprivileged minorities. Third, on a more practical level, multiculturalism also encourages ethnic concentration as programs and funding are directed toward high ethnic concentrations. Employment opportunities and migration networks strengthen this trend, but official policies reinforce a primarily urban, highly concentrated ethnic makeup. As well, many policies are designed to capture minority interests and diasporas may be positioned to exploit homeland political agendas. In many Canadian constituencies, politicians feel that it is problematic to win elections without securing votes from the largest ethnic populations. Negatively, the trends cited by appeals to ethnic votes involve "the patronizing and platitudinous speeches of politicians to ethnic minority groups, followed by the election-time media coverage of ethnic minorities that often degrades their political participation (e.g., 'instant Liberal' has increasingly become a term of derision reserved from minority activists in party politics)."  102  As well, at times the media has  portrayed the idea that multiculturalism itself is merely a tactic to gain votes from ethnic communities.  Yasmeen Abu-Laban, "Liberalism, Multiculturalism and the Problem of Essentialism," in Citizenship Studies (Carfax Publishing Company, 2002). 462. Yasmeen Abu-Laban and Daiva Stasiulis, "Ethnic Pluralism under Siege: Popular and Partisan Opposition to Multiculturalism," Canadian Public Policy xviii, no. 4 (1992). 380. 101  1 0 2  35 Fourth, multiculturalism in Canada, at times has the effect of promoting cultural interests above and beyond those of integration, economic advancement, and merit-based recognition. This is also an issue, however, in the U.S. John Porter notes that "both societies [Canada and the U.S.] within the liberal tradition with ethnicity as a salient feature, seem to be faced with a dilemma; on the one hand if they value and emphasize ethnicity, mobility and opportunity are endangered, on the other hand if they emphasize mobility and opportunity, it will be at the cost of submerging cultural identity."  104  Kamala Nayar notes this contention and believes that "multiculturalism policy can hinder adaptation to modernity and integration in Canada a long as that policy remains focused exclusively on the sanctioning of cultural preservation."  105  She also believes that  obstacles prevent the transition to modernity particularly among those groups that migrate from a rural background and those that maintain strong religious affiliations.  106  According to Howard-Hassman, part of the problem emerges as social ethnicity is confused with biological ethnicity; thus prioritizing ancestral identity and country of origin.  107  Because of this, Canadian multiculturalism tends to privilege ancestral heritage  and reinforce traditional cultural practices. This may, at times, prevent full integration into the Canadian system.  2.5 Homeland  Political  Activity  Situated outside the realist paradigm, diaspora politics are often analyzed from a constructivist view on national identity and a liberal interdependent view that places nonstate actors alongside states as actors in the international system. This study does not go as far as some studies  108  that argue that transnational political action represents a demise  John Porter, "Ethnic Pluralism in Canadian Perspective," in Ethnicity: Theory and Experience, ed. Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1975). 294. Kamala E. Nayar, The Sikh Diaspora in Vancouver :. Three Generations Amid Tradition, Modernity, and Multiculturalism (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004). 238. Ibid. 223. Howard-Hassman, ""Canadian" as an Ethnic Category: Implications for Multiculturalism and National Unity." For example, see David C. Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, 2nd ed. (San Francisco, Calif, Bloomfleld, Conn.: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; Kumarian Press, 2001). And Masao Myoshi, "A Borderless World? From Colonialism to Transnationalism and the Decline of the Nation-State," in 104  105  1 0 6  1 0 7  108  36 or even a weakening of the nation-state system. It does, however, align with views proposed by Tololyan, that "what has emerged in the past two decades, under the impact of new transnational, global forces, is the view that nation-states may not always be the most effective or legitimate units of collective organization."  109  Part of the reason that  diasporas do not constitute a direct challenge to the nation-state system is that they function simultaneously at both the sub- and trans-state level.  110  As well, the end goal for  many diaspora groups is the establishment of a nation-state in the homeland. According to Wayland, the literature that retains the essential character of the nation-state "considers how sending and receiving states, regions, and localities promote or hinder the creation and maintenance of transnational social networks. Its treatment of the political emphasizes the impact of grassroots activities in the context of national-level policies."  111  Because the nation-state still represents a privileged from of political polity, diasporas are often "bounded" in their actions, reacting to and operating in the framework of national structures. In agreement, Rainer Baubock notes that "if we theorize migrant transnationalism as a challenge to the nation-state system itself, we are likely to exaggerate its scope and to misunderstand its real significance."  112  There are important connections between literature on transnational behaviour and the political practices of diaspora groups. In many ways, diaspora groups are simply one example of transnational activity that occurs in a globalized world. It is useful to place the study of diasporas within the transnational literature, however, certain caveats must be acknowledged. In relation to the bounded categories suggested by Portes and Guarnizo, and especially in the case of stateless diasporas, there is a need to retain a sensitivity to established political practices evident in the international environment. Because stateless diaspora groups often maintain links with defined territorial units, they very much reinforce traditional views on the international state system. As noted by  Global/Local: Cultural Production and the Transnational Imaginary, ed. Rob Wilson and Wimal Dissanayake (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996). Khachig Tololyan, "The Nation-State and Its Others: In Lieu of a Preface," Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 1, no. Spring (1991). 4. Tololyan, "Rethinking Diaspora(S): Stateless Power in the Transnational Moment." Wayland, "Ethnonationalist Networks and Transnational Opportunities: The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora." 410. Rainer Baubock, "Towards a Political Theory of Migrant Transnationalism," International Migration Review 37, no. 3 (2003). 701. See also Portes, 2001. 1 0 9  1 1 0  1 , 1  112  37 Yasemin Soysal, "the category of diaspora is an extension of the nation-state model, in that it assumes a congruence between the territorial state and the national community, and by implication a congruence between territory, culture, and identity." Although not a direct challenge to the nation-state system, transnational diasporic activity does offer a different conceptual framework for political action that does not conform to traditional international relations theory. Gabriel Sheffer argues that if the assumptions about diaspora activity in the international system are valid, "then diaspora organizations, their modes of operation, the trans-state networks they establish and operate, and the roles they play in domestic, regional, and international affairs should be viewed as precursors to future developments that will significantly change international and domestic politics."  114  An examination of transnational efforts at nation-building, by  nature, blurs the boundaries between international diplomacy, domestic politics, and the power of non-state actors. According to Yossi Shain, studies of diasporas within various political systems allows for the incorporation of identity issues and communal politics in international relations, ethno-national conflict that extends outside the principal territory, the elastic nature of the national interest with factors emanating from both inside and outside the polity, and the merging of domestic and foreign policy considerations.  115  Tololyan stresses that the multiple relationships diasporas maintain with the nation-state and nation-building projects allows that "in such a context, transnational communities are sometimes the paradigmatic Other of the nation-state and at other times its ally, lobby, or even, as in the case of Israel, its precursor."" Studies of diasporic 6  political behaviour, then, need to assess how diasporas interact with the international system, and the ways in which they both confront and are shaped by dominant national politics. It is important to recognize that although diasporas (and transnational organizations in general) are independent actors, they also function in conjunction with and not completely separate from local, national, and international political structures. Fiona Adamson notes that there are three main avenues for forms of transnational political activity directed toward the homeland that involve a) the construction of political Soysal, "Citizenship and Identity: Living in Diasporas in Post-War Europe?." 3. Sheffer, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad. 27. Shain and Sherman, "Dynamics of Disintegration: Diaspora, Secession, and the Paradox of Nation-States." Tololyan, "The Nation-State and Its Others: In Lieu of a Preface." 5. 113  114  115  1 1 6  38 identities and discourses within transnational spaces, b) networks and lobbying relationships with third parties that may include host country governments or political parties, international organizations (IOs), or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or c) the direct provision of material resources to the homeland.  117  Perhaps the most applicable model for this mode of political action is the Transnational Advocacy Network (TAN) approach developed by Kathryn Sikkink and Margaret Keck. They note that TANs can be "understood as political spaces, in which differently situated actors negotiate - formally or informally - the social, cultural and political meanings of their joint action."  118  In this way, diaspora groups are provided  with a number of political avenues to influence outcomes at various levels. Locally, diaspora groups form organizations that address local group concerns and may sustain local-to-local contact with communities in the homeland. Nationally, diaspora groups lobby host and homeland governments, challenge the sovereignty of homeland states, and occasionally receive state backing for transnational activity. Transnationally, diaspora groups appeal to INGOs, supranational authorities, and establish transnational diaspora networks to engage in political issues. Diasporic political action exhibits a number of similarities with the T A N theory presented by Keck and Sikkink. The tactics employed by diasporas often parallel those predicted in T A N networks. At times, facing obstacles to direct political action aimed at the primary state, diasporas and TANs turn attention to an alternative state (for diasporas, the host state), or an international organization that subsequently pressures the homeland state to reform. As noted by the authors, "when a government violates or refuses to recognize rights, individuals and domestic groups often have no recourse within domestic political or judicial arenas."  119  Keck and Sikkink acknowledge that networks effectively  participate in both domestic and international politics simultaneously.  120  Within the  framework, both TANs and diasporas face similar structural constraints that may involve lack of political access, state power, and international norms. The authors also emphasize the ability to spread information through a T A N campaign and to bring awareness to a Adamson, "Mobilizing for the Transformation of Home: Politicized Identities and Transnational Practices." ' Keck and Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics. 3. Ibid. 12. 117  1 8  1 , 9  39 particular cause. This is also a principal concern for many stateless diasporas which may face obstacles to both obtaining information in a repressive environment in the homeland and highlighting international awareness. There are, however, some key differences that inhibit the model from explaining fully diasporic political action and motivations. The first is that diasporas are not truly transnational entities. Political action is most commonly rooted firmly within national contexts. Although substantial diaspora populations span multiple nation-states; actions, especially in the stateless category are most often aimed towards nation-building enterprises. Furthermore, the status of diaspora populations in host countries is dictated by national governments and political action aimed at the host government is circumscribed by official government policy. Second, unlike "advocacy" networks that "involve individuals advocating policy changes that cannot be easily linked to a rationalist understanding of their 'interests'" , diasporas function from a basis in self121  interest. In this sense, "advocacy" networks have little reason to define action that is based on a particular identity formation, and face fewer costs through ineffective action. As an amalgamation of individual advocates, the network structure is distinctly different from the communal, group-based networks within diasporas. As noted by Wayland, "whereas advocacy networks are bound together by shared values, ethnic networks build upon a pre-existing common ethnonational identity."  122  Because of these two key  differences, the model proposed by Keck and Sikkink must be altered to incorporate both national policies and identity formation within the diaspora (see Figure 2). Diasporas are not free-flowing, unaccountable entities within the international system; they are firmly wedged inside state structures. Nor are they merely loose amalgamations of like-minded individuals joined together in pursuit of a particular goal. The third, but less substantial difference is the fact that advocacy networks are traditionally viewed in a "positive" light while politically active diasporas frequently take on a set of "negative" attributes. For this reason, political avenues may become more easily blocked, thereby increasing the structural constraints on effective action.  2  - Wayland, "Ethnonationalist Networks and Transnational Opportunities: The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora." 411. 122  I b i d  9  40  Figure 2: Potential Political Avenues for Stateless Diasporas Pressure  0stergaard-Neilsen recognizes that not all diaspora groups operate across the three levels with many groups focusing on the state as the means and ends.  123  What,  then, determines the conditions under which a diaspora group will either act at a local-tolocal level, indirectly through host governments, or appeal to transnational or international organizations to further their cause? It is often the case that "transnational political networks who oppose a state, which has strong allies in their host-states or simply is too powerful for other states to meddle with, may turn to international organizations such as the UN, OSCE, European Council, and the like."  124  The  Palestinians represent a potent example of a group that has voiced concerns and lobbied the international arena, targeting state governments and U N agencies. Esman notes that "success in such a campaign depends entirely on active patronage and support among member governments."  125  He notes that other groups, such as the Kurds, Armenians, and  Croatians have been unsuccessful in this endeavor because they lack the necessary state support. However, groups do retain alternate avenues at the transnational level with efforts to influence international NGOs. The Haitian diaspora for example has worked Ostergaard-Nielsen, "Diasporas in World Politics." Ostergaard-Nielsen, "The Politics of Migrants' Transnational Political Practices". 15. Milton J. Esman, "Diasporas and International Relations," in Modern Diasporas in International Politics, ed. Gabriel Sheffer (New York: St. Martin's, 1986). 343. , 2 j  124  125  41 vigorously with Amnesty International to bring attention to human rights abuses carried out by the central administration in Haiti. However, there are still a number of groups that do not reach out to international or transnational organizations to exert influence. One reason for this is the fact that diaspora groups often engage in both confrontational - demonstrations, hunger strikes, violence - and institutional means - media campaigns, panel discussions, shaming, in order to effect change.  126  It may be that some diasporas are either effective at the  confrontational level, or do not possess the capacity to work within the confines of international institutions. Appealing to transnational and international organizations requires adept concessions and framing to elicit positive reinforcement for diasporic goals. It may also require that diasporas groups align closely with international human rights norms and the agendas set by international bodies. The distances between political practices occurring across national boundaries creates what Ostergaard-Neilsen calls "dual institutional channeling" as groups function at various political levels. She argues that "transnational political networks' strategies and activities may not only adapt to their local institutional environment but also be shaped as they appropriate global (western liberal) norms of democracy and human rights via their interaction with national and international institutions."  127  Diaspora groups,  then, face a difficult task in reaching a transnational audience if their stated goals do not align with recognized universal norms and rights. However, in the post-cold war era, groups have increased leverage in western host nations as "ideals of democracy, pluralism, self-determination and human rights are, at least in principle, heralded as central to foreign policy making of western states."  128  It is still yet to be proven whether  the type of strategy based around international human rights norms is effective - "despite the intense lobbying of Sikhs and Kurds, there is no Khalistan or Kurdistan."  129  The amount of agency a diaspora group exerts in international politics involves contested ideas about the impact of non-state actors in international relations. It is a fact  Ostergaard-Nielsen, "Diasporas in World Politics." Ostergaard-Nielsen, "The Politics of Migrants' Transnational Political Practices". 17. Ibid. 16. Ostergaard-Nielsen, "Diasporas in World Politics." 232. There is, however, an independent East Timor. This occurred in large part with substantial assistance from the diaspora and its alliances with various human rights organizations. 1 2 6  1 2 7 1 2 8  1 2 9  42  that ethnic groups, based in western states, lobby government at the local, national, international, and transnational levels, however, their efficacy is unclear. Shain and Wittes argue that "although national identity can be negotiated between homeland and diaspora, the structure of modern international relations gives the prerogative of constituting, elaborating, and implementing the national interest to the government of the homeland state."  130  Despite the emphasis placed on state agency, Shain elsewhere admits  that "a world order of nation-states ... is seemingly incapable of preventing either the dispersion of stateless minorities, or the continuing rebellion of ever-emerging ethnicities, demanding vehicles to express their own distinct national aspirations as independent political entities."  131  Diasporas, then, present an alternative vision through which  minority claims are exerted internationally. They also offer a different conception of the nation-building project by incorporating outside state actors, international organizations and transnational NGOs. The type of political activity in which diaspora groups engage is very much dependent on their goals and political organization as well as the external political environment.  Some of the motivations that may drive diasporic organizations to engage  in political activity include a desire to maintain ethnic identity, compete with the homeland for leadership of the transnational community, follow organizational or bureaucratic interests of the diaspora organization, or campaign for the diaspora's political interests in the host state.  132  Furthermore, political activity may be dependent on  the external political environment that includes host state receptiveness to ethnonational influence, power relations between the home and host state, and an alignment with international norms. In many cases, however, the underlying motivation to mobilize is based on ethno-national identity with the homeland territory.  Shain and Wittes, "Peace as a Three-Level Game: The Role of Diasporas in Conflict Resolution." 179. Shain and Sherman, "Dynamics of Disintegration: Diaspora, Secession, and the Paradox of Nation-States." 339. Shain and Wittes, "Peace as a Three-Level Game: The Role of Diasporas in Conflict Resolution." I j 0  131  1 3 2  43  Chapter 3 - Diasporic Trans-State Politics - The Sikhs and Tamils in C a n a d a This section provides an empirical account of the transnational political practices undertaken by Sikh and Tamil groups living in Canada. In order to proceed, some clarifications must be established. In defining the environment from which politics occurs, this study will, for the most part, follow the rubric outlined by OstergaardNeilsen, who sees "transnational political networks" as "the ever changing patterns of cooperation between migrant or refugee organizations and parties at home and abroad."  More specifically, "political transnational practices" can be exemplified by  "various forms of direct cross border participation in the politics of their country of origin by both migrants and refugees, as well as their indirect participation via the political institutions of the host country (or international organizations)."  134  Because this is a  study of two diasporas within a particular national context, it will pay less attention to the linkages between the Canadian diaspora and fellow diasporans in other countries or to the organizational dynamics of worldwide Sikh and Tamil networks. For Michele Laguerre, this represents an emphasis on primary relations with the homeland rather than secondary relations that describe contacts with members of the diaspora in other countries.  135  It is extremely difficult to speak about either the Sikh or Tamil diaspora as a whole. Within each, there is a diversity of opinion and a large set of individual preferences. That said, this project is concerned with the view projected by group concerns and interests, and while attempts are made to clarify diverse opinion, emphasis is placed on "official" statements and objectives that represent large group interests. This study is concerned with group-oriented politics aimed at the homeland and at the Canadian foreign policy institutions with regard to Sri Lanka and India, rather than campaigns to increase privileges within the Canadian domestic context, such as immigration and racism. That said, there is often substantial overlap between domestic and international policy issues. As well, because this study is an examination of two  134  I j 5  Ostergaard-Nielsen, "The Politics of Migrants' Transnational Political Practices". 4. Ibid. 4. Laguerre, Diasporic Citizenship: Haitian Americans in Transnational America. 9.  44  stateless diasporas, the links between group identity and territory are highlighted. This again, brings about the importance of collective motivations, not individual rights, for the attachment, sometimes symbolic, to a defined territorial space. This section begins with an overview of the territorial claims in both the Punjab and Sri Lanka, levels of immigration to Canada, and group identity among the diaspora in Canada. Based on theories of identity and nationalism, the first part pays attention to both primordial and instrumental claims for group identity and collective action. It also considers historical relationships within the diaspora and reasons for emigration. In reference to previous discussions regarding both internal and external mechanisms for group identity formation, it asks: what type of communal ethno-national attachments have developed or remained in relation to the homeland? And, what are the particular Canadian attributes that contribute to diasporic identity? Following on from identity constructions, the second part examines three important political relationships. The first relationship involves the independent political organization and activity of the two diasporas and the tactics utilized to influence events in the homeland. The second and third focus on indirect forms of political activity to lobby the Canadian government and to work through international organizations. Building on the modified T A N network applications, this section assesses the degree to which multiple political avenues are or have been operationalized by Tamil and Sikh political factions. In what way have the groups engaged in direct political activity with the homeland, lobbied the Canadian government, or advanced causes at the international level? The study recognizes that a number of relational arrows could be added to the model for diasporic political activity. However, it is beyond the scope of this paper, for example, to assess, in depth, the impact of Sri Lankan and Indian political action directed at diaspora groups in Canada, or the influence that IOs and INGOs have over Canadian government decisions.  45  3.1 Immigration  and Collective Diasporic  Identity  India's Sikh population has a long tradition of emigration, with roughly 30% of the 18 million Sikhs living outside of the Punjab and up to 10% outside of India.  It is  difficult to trace the exact immigration statistics of Sikhs to Canada due to the fact that they have often been grouped together with Indian Hindus under the labels of "East Indians" or "Canadians of Origins in India", but Sikhs have had a long and tumultuous history in Canada. Between 1904-1907, roughly 5,000 Sikhs arrived in Canada,  137  and  for the most part engaged in the agriculture and forestry industries. Connection with the Punjab was primarily an economic one, as migrants aimed to earn and support family members at home.  138  However, as racism increased , Sikh immigration was completely 139  halted in the period between 1910 and the late 1940s.  140  It then resumed in the 1970s,  rising from a Punjabi population of less than 7,000 in 1961 to an estimated 115,000 in 1986.  141  Primarily, Punjabi Sikhs have entered Canada in the immigrant and family  categories with some political refugees entering Canada in the late 1970s and shortly following ethnic riots in Amritsar and New Delhi in 1984.  142  Arthur W. Helweg, "Sikh Politics in India: The Emigrant Factor," in The Sikh Diaspora: Migration and the Experience Beyond the Punjab, ed. N . Gerald Barrier and Verne A. Dusenberry (Delhi: Chanakya Publications, 1989). Hugh Johnston, "The Development of the Punjabi Community in Vancouver since 1961," Canadian Ethnic Studies X X , no. 2 (1988). Narindar Singh, Canadian Sikhs: History, Religion, and Culture of Sikhs in North America (Ottawa: Canadian Sikhs' Studies Institute, 1994). 32. Narindar Singh notes that a large portion of the racism in Vancouver was directed at early Chinese and Japanese citizens, and that Sikhs were grouped into an "undesirable" Asian class of immigrant that worked for lower wages and upset Canada's cultural balance. During this time Sikh immigrants were only permitted to arrive in Canada by "continuous" passage from the Punjab, however, there were no passenger shipping lines that traveled this route. See Singh, Canadian Sikhs: History, Religion, and Culture of Sikhs in North America. Johnston, "The Development of the Punjabi Community in Vancouver since 1961." From the beginning, Punjabi Sikhs have been estimated to outnumber the Punjabi Hindus by ten to one. Helweg, "Sikh Politics in India: The Emigrant Factor." 130  137  1 3 8  1 3 9  1 4 0  141  1 4 2  46 Similarly, large numbers of Sri Lanka's Tamil population reside abroad - up to one third of the Tamil population lives overseas  143  with populations in over 54 countries.  In contrast to the Sikhs, Tamil movement to Canada is much more recent.  144  Beginning  in 1980, Canada began to accept thousands of Sri Lankan immigrants/refugees yearly, and estimates of the Canadian Tamil population now range between 140,000 and 250,000. These figures are debatable. Sriskandarajah cites the number as high as 400,000 but the most common figure seems to hover .around 200,000.  145  By way of  contrast, estimates put the U . S . Tamil population at around 40,000. In comparative terms, Sri Lankan immigration to Canada has been surprisingly high, ranking fifth in total immigration in the 1990s behind China, India, the Philippines, and Hong K o n g .  146  The  large majority of Tamils have entered Canada as political refugees, fleeing ethnic persecution, political repression, and conflict in Sri Lanka.  147  The National Post  recognizes that, "the island of Sri Lanka is Canada's leading source of refugees; more 148  than 150,000 have migrated to Canada in the past two decades".  Not only are the total  numbers of refugees high from Sri Lanka, but their acceptance rate has been higher than  Rohan Gunaratna, "Sri Lanka: Feeding the Tamil Tigers," in The Political Economy of Armed Conflict: Beyond Greed and Grievance, ed. Karen Ballentine (Boulder, Co.: Lynne Reiner Publishers, 2003). 203. Sri Lankan immigration to Canada began as early as the 1960s, but most of the movement was of Sri Lankan Burghers of mixed Eurasian descent. The numbers were also extremely minimal at this time. For more see Arul S. Aruliah, "Accepted on Compassionate Grounds: An Admission Profile of Tamil Immigrants in Canada," Refuge 14, no. 4 (1994). Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, "The Migration-Development Nexus: Sri Lanka Case Study.," in International Migration (Blackwell Publishing Limited, 2002). Jennifer Hyndman, "Aid, Conflict and Migration: The Canada-Sri Lanka Connection," The Canadian Geographer 47', no. 3 (2003). Statistics have put the percentage of Tamils within Sri Lankan immigration at 90%, see Aruliah, "Accepted on Compassionate Grounds: An Admission Profile of Tamil Immigrants in Canada." For a comprehensive account of conflict in Sri Lanka, see, for example, Rajat Ganguly and Ray Taras, Understanding Ethnic Conflict: The International Dimension (New York: Longman, 1998), Jonathan Goodhand, "Aid, Conflict and Peace Building in Sri Lanka," (London: Centre for Defence Studies, Kings College, 2001), O'Sullivan, "Sri Lanka: Civil Strife, Civil Society, and the State 19831995," in War and Underdevlopment: Volume Ii Country Experiences, ed. Valpy Fitzgerald (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), G.H. Peiris and K . M . de Silva, "Managing Group Grievances and Internal Conflict: Sri Lanka Country Report," (The Hague: Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, Conflict Research Unit, 2003), Robert I. Rotberg, "Sri Lanka's Civil War: From Mayhem toward Diplomatic Resolution," in Creating Peace in Sri Lanka: Civil War and Reconciliation, ed. Robert I. Roterg (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1999), Kumar Rupesinghe, Khawar Mumtaz, and International Peace Research Institute., Internal Conflicts in South Asia (London: Sage, 1996). A timeline is provided in Appendix D. Stewart Bell, "Thousands of Tamil Guerillas in Toronto, Police Say," National Post, June 17, 2000. l 4 J  144  145  146  147  148  47 any other group.  149  The majority of Tamils have been forced to flee the island nation, but  Rohan Gunaratna recognizes five principle waves of migration out of the homeland.  150  The first two waves left primarily for economic reasons while the last three have fled due to political/safety factors. Wolfram Zunzer notes that "before the civil war, immigrants who came to Canada with the intention of settling down were by far the largest group. Most of them came to Canada to study or work, had a wealthy family background and belonged to one of the higher castes in Sri Lanka."  151  In contrast to Gunaratna, however,  who believes that economic migrants have remained uninvolved in homeland affairs, Sri Lankan researcher Dr. Darini Rajasingham says "that there is no indication that Tamil asylum seekers are more politically radical and supportive of the freedom struggle than economic migrants."  152  Within Canada, both Sikh and Tamil populations are primarily urban, with major populations in Vancouver and Toronto.  153  The urban trend largely paralleled other ethnic  groups in Canada, but both the Sikhs and Tamils have consolidated political activity in a single urban centre - Vancouver for Sikhs and Toronto for Tamils. This fact has had important consequences for diaspora political activity and identity formation within the group. For Canada, this means that ethnic minorities are an important and growing electoral factor.  154  High urban concentration also has important connotations for the  ability to monitor and observe ethnic communities, deliver programs, as well as to permit diasporic control over ethnic newcomers.  Sarah V. Wayland, "Immigration and Transnational Political Ties: Croatians and Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada.," in Canadian Ethnic Studies (Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal, 2003). Between 19891998, the acceptance rate of Sri Lanka Tamil claims hovered around an 85% acceptance rate for refugee status. Gunaratna, "Sri Lanka: Feeding the Tamil Tigers." 205. Wolfram Zunzer, "Diaspora Communities and Civil Conflict Transformation," (Berlin: Berghof Research Centre for Constructive Conflict Management, 2004). 22. Quoted in Ibid. 9. Canada's Sikh population remains more rural that the Tamil population. Definitive population statistics are difficult to establish, but it is estimated that up to 35,000 of British Columbia's 135,000 Sikhs may live outside of the Greater Vancouver Metropolitan area. There are substantial Sikh populations on Vancouver Island, the Okanagan, and in the Kootenay region. Political activity, however, is relatively confined to Vancouver and its surrounding areas. Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon, Domestic Demographics and Canadian Foreign Policy (Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, 2003 [cited July 22 2004]); available from She recognizes though that the transition from immigrant to voter is not instantaneous, and that there may be a time lag as immigrants fulfill the obligations to become voters. 150  151  152  153  154  48  Due to earlier immigration, Sikh political activity in Canada can be traced to the early 1900s when the first gurdwaras'  55  appeared to promote and give space for Sikh  religious activities. The gurdwaras also took up political concerns that were primarily leveled at federal and provincial governments and addressed immigration issues. Interestingly, in the early stages Sikh gurdwara organizations spoke in the name of all Indians in Canada. These religious institutions brought Sikh immigrants together and provided an organizational focus for collective action on a number of issues important to the diaspora.  156  Early on, the political direction of many gurdwaras was dictated by  revolutionaries from the Punjab. Many of the emigrants, repressed under British rule, had sought exile to express political concerns.  157  Diaspora political identities amid Sikh populations abroad have a relatively long history that dates back to the post-colonial period. The Ghadr (Mutiny Party) movement emerged during British colonial rule to espouse Indian independence.  158  In the post-  colonial period, it was a mostly emigrant-driven project to forge a Sikh political entity alongside Hindu and Muslim nation-states that emerged with British retreat from South Asia. Alongside several other independence movements and ethnic claims, Sikh nationalism took root with the collapse of colonialism and solidified territorial claims. In tandem with the Ghadr movement, local Punjabi political concerns emerged most strongly through the Akali Dal political party, which adopted multiple points of interaction in its quest to form the Punjabi state of Sikhistan. Along with voicing appeals to the British government and the United Nations, the Akali Dal campaigned overseas Sikhs for support.  159  In the post-independence period, the Akali Dal party has continued  to fight for the establishment of a Sikh homeland, however, the campaign has focused  The literal interpretation of the term gurdwara is the "door of the Guru". A l l places of Sikh worship are now referred to as gurdwaras. In principal, these are Sikh religious centres, but have also taken on political agendas and provided community services to overseas Punjabi populations. Singh, Canadian Sikhs: History, Religion, and Culture of Sikhs in North America. Ibid. At one point, over 3,000 members of the Ghadr movement journeyed to the Punjab in order to "liberate" India from the British. Verne A. Dusenbery, "A Sikh Diaspora? Contested Identities and Constructed Realities," in Nation and Migration: The Politics of Space in the South Asian Diaspora, ed. Peter van der Veer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995). 27-29. 1 5 5  1 5 6  1 5 7  1 5 8  1 5 9  49 most strongly on creating a linguistic majority in the Punjab.  160  Support from the  Canadian-Sikh diaspora has fluctuated in cyclical fashion. In fact, Brian Keith Axel notes that "the fight for a Sikh homeland, orchestrated by the Akali party in Punjab remained within India between 1947 and 1971 and was not a concern for Sikhs living in other parts of the world."  161  Political activity, in Canada, among the diaspora has  generally corresponded with levels of Sikh immigration. It was strong in the early 1900s through the Ghadr movement and again when levels of immigration resumed in the 1970s and 1980s. The Ghadr movement had strong support from the North American Sikh population due to a perceived lack of interest on behalf of British India to protect Punjabi 162  rights abroad.  This movement had strong Canadian connections. After the ship  Komagata Maru, containing approximately 350 Sikh immigrants,  163  was denied landing  in Canadian ports, twenty-three of its members were shot on return to India, while the survivors formed the Ghadr movement.  164  According to Cynthia Mahmood, this event  "underscored the important role played by the Sikh diaspora and the immigration policies of the countries that hosted it, with networks set up during Ghadr times still used by Khalistani activists abroad."  165  It is difficult to assess popular perceptions toward the  early Ghadr movement, as it is also challenging to ascertain popular involvement in the more recent Khalistani discourse. However, by most indications the Sikh community abroad became much more cohesive because of the Golden Temple massacre carried out by Indian military forces in 1984.  166  By some accounts it is noted that "Sikh politics has  Brian Keith Axel, The Nation's Tortured Body: Violence, Representation, and the Formation of a Sikh "Diaspora" (Durham, N C : Duke University Press, 2001). 3. Axel notes that the government of India redrew the map of the Punjab three times between 1948 and 1966 - the final result was that of a Punjabi Sikh majority. Ibid. 4. Dusenbery, " A Sikh Diaspora? Contested Identities and Constructed Realities." 31. For more on the passage of the Komagata Maru, see Hugh J. M . Johnston, The Voyage of the Komagata Maru: The Sikh Challenge to Canada's Colour Bar (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1979). The Komagata Maru arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914, and was forced to leave Victoria harbour on July 23, 1914. Only 24 of the passengers were given leave to remain in Canada. Cynthia Keppley Mahmood, Fighting for Faith and Nation : Dialogues with Sikh Militants, Series in Contemporary Ethnography (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997). Ibid. 111. The Punjab crisis in India became intense in the early 1980s, with the Golden Temple massacre serving to polarize relations between the central administration and India's Sikh community. Civil insurgency resulted in a de facto police state from 1987 to 1992, and since 1996 tensions have eased. Appendix C provides a timeline of key events in India's Punjab crisis. For more background on conflict in 1 6 0  161  162  m  1 6 4  165  1 6 6  50 been faction-ridden and influenced by their homeland, but the Golden Temple operation brought a degree of unity not previously present."  167  Throughout both eras of independence movements, Canadian officials engaged in Sikh surveillance, firstly on behalf of British authorities in India, and later for selfinterested security concerns. Zuhair Kashmeri and Brian McAndrew remark that "when the expatriates set up the Ghadr and Akali Babbar movement to launch a violent campaign to free India from Britain, Canada and Britain worked to destabilize and divide the Sikhs in British Columbia and California."  168  Later on, and especially in regard to the  Air India bombing, Canadian authorities tracked alleged Sikh political organizers. Both early on and in the later stages overseas Sikh political activity has often been viewed as a threat to all parties. British, Indian, and Canadian authorities have all retained a skeptical attitude towards Sikh affairs in Canada. The post-colonial period for the Tamils as well, was an important identity formation period. Enjoying economic and social advantages under British control, the Tamils soon became victims of Sinhalese majority political strategies seeking to rectify past imbalances. Lacking an international Sri Lankan Tamil population outside of the country, the movement remained relatively confined to Sri Lanka, but did make some inroads into the Indian sub-continent. The neighboring state of Tamil Nadu in India, hosting a large population of Indian Tamils has throughout the period provided both material and moral support for the Tamil population in Sri Lanka. As well, the Indian government provided de facto support for the Tamil cause up to 1989 when Indian peacekeeping forces intervened in Sri Lanka, suffered heavy losses, and subsequently  the Punjab, see Bidyut Chakrabarty, Communal Identity in India: Its Construction and Articulation in the Twentieth Century (New Delhi; New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), Beverly Crawford and Ronnie D. Lipschutz, The Myth of "Ethnic Conflict": Politics, Economics, and "Cultural" Violence (Berkeley: International and Area Studies University of California at Berkeley, 1998), Robin Jeffrey, What's Happening to India?: Punjab, Ethnic Conflict and the Test for Federalism, 2nd ed. (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1994), Proshanta K. Nandi, "Socio-Political Context of Sikh Militancy in India.," in Journal of Asian & African Studies (Brill) (Brill Academic Publishers, 1996), Gurharpal Singh, Ethnic Conflict in India: A Case-Study of Punjab (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, New York: Macmillan Press; St. Martin's Press, 2000), Gurharpal Singh, "The Punjab Crisis since 1984: A Reassessment.," in Ethnic & Racial Studies (Routledge, Ltd., 1995). Helweg, "Sikh Politics in India: The Emigrant Factor." See also Johnston, "The Development of the Punjabi Community in Vancouver since 1961." Zuhair Kashmeri and Brian McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada (Toronto: J. Lorimer, 1989). x i i . 1 6 7  1 6 8  51 removed support for the cause.  169  Insurgency in Sri Lanka began during the 1970s, but  hit a stark turning point with ethnic riots in Colombo in 1983 - the most recognized starting date for the conflict. After 1983, Tamil emigration increased substantially, and was mirrored by internal displacement and a reversion to ethnic separation between a Tamil-dominated north and a Sinhalese south.  170  Tamil political activity in Canada  began in the late 1970s with several development and reconstruction efforts established by early Tamil immigrants. More diverse political activity began in the post-1983 period as large numbers of refugees arrived in Canada.  3.2 Territory, Religion, and Communal  Recognition  Within diaspora and homeland political movements, the links between identity, territory, and religion have been and continue to be a premier concern. Aptly noted by Harjot Oberoi, "having derived sustenance from the stories of territoriality, the Sikhs are now entrapped in the depths of a classic dilemma: if they pursue its resolution, they are faced with a situation similar to that of the Basques, the Kurds, and the Palestinians ... but if they abandon this newly constituted emblem they undermine an element of their own identity."  171  Echoing these sentiments, Darshan Singh Tatla argues that although the  Golden Temple incident was an initiating force, further events and organizational forces  Gunaratna notes that the primary motivation for Indira Gandhi's administration was to gain leverage over the central government in Colombo. See Gunaratna, "Internationalisation of the Tamil Conflict (and Its Implications)." Despite the instrumental reasons for support, ethnic affiliation gave a measure of legitimacy to tactics among the Tamils of Tamil Nadu. It is important to note that Sri Lanka is not characterized by a simple ethnic dichotomy. Definitive numbers are hard to elicit as the last full census was conducted in 1981. However, the most commonly cited figures note that the population is 74% Sinhalese, of which 69% are Buddhist, 12.5 % Sri Lankan Tamils, 7.5% Muslims, and 5.5% Indian Tamils. See Peiris and de Silva, "Managing Group Grievances and Internal Conflict: Sri Lanka Country Report." The Indian Tamils and Sri Lankan Tamils are distinct groups. The majority of Indian Tamils live in the central hill region and are at times referred to as "estate" or "plantation" Tamils. They were brought from India by the British to work on tea and rubber plantations in 19 and early 20 century. The Indian Tamils were denied citizenship when Ceylon achieved independence in 1948, and many remain stateless today. Large numbers of Tamils in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu in India create a double minority situation. The Tamils constitute a minority in Sri Lanka, while the Sinhalese are a minority in the greater regional area. Harjot S. Oberoi, "From Punjab to 'Khalistan': Territoriality and Metacommentary," Pacific Affairs 60, no. 1 (1987). 40. 1 7 0  th  171  th  i  52  have institutionalized the links between the Sikh community and the Punjab.  172  He also  believes that this support has taken the form of both material and moral support and has served to internationalize the issue of a Sikh homeland. Axel, as well, notes that "although certainly not supported by all Sikhs, Khalistan is an idea that, nevertheless, has become a generalized trope of social practice and representation central to the post-1984 (re)construction of the Sikh Diaspora."  173  Links between identity and territory have also been relatively robust within the overseas Tamil community. As noted by Wayland, "their [diasporas] may transcend space, but ethno-national identity is by definition rooted in territory."  174  Fuglerud, as  well, believes that "what we find when we study the case of refugees is that the exile situation is like a room of mirrors. Life on the outside is inseparable from events at home."  175  Much has been written on the heavy-handed approaches of the L T T E  (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) and the construction of Tamil identities abroad. However, the L T T E also maintains an important attachment to myth of Tamil Eelam, and in fact the " L T T E cannot only be an organization that intersects with Tamils around the world - it needs the homeland that supporters die and pay for."  176  This is not to suggest that the L T T E has not developed identity associations with the Tamil diaspora outside of territorial claims. The L T T E has undertaken a powerful media campaign designed to capture the diasporic imaginary and project support toward the homeland struggle. Early on, the L T T E exploited technological advantages and designed websites , video streaming, and media that promoted the Tamil liberation 177  movement. Drastically ahead of the Sri Lankan government, the L T T E was able to control much of the information processed by the diaspora community. Collier recognizes that, "unlike the other sources of finance for rebellion, diaspora contributions  Darshan Singh Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood, Global Diasporas (London: U C L Press, 1999). 183. Axel, The Nation's Tortured Body: Violence, Representation, and the Formation of a Sikh "Diaspora". 5. Wayland, "Immigration and Transnational Political Ties: Croatians and Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada.." Fuglerud, Life on the Outside: The Tamil Diaspora and Long Distance Nationalism. 14. Pradeep Jeganathan, "Eelam.Com: Place, Nation and Imagi-Nation in Cyberspace," Public Culture 10, no. 3 (1997). 525. See websites such as lntp://, 111  173  174  175  176  177  53  are sensitive to the media image of the rebel group. Hence a shrewd rebel group will attempt to manage its image, playing on the concerns and memories of the relevant 178  diaspora".  The L T T E has also been successful in creating an ideoscape that benefits  the continued struggle for a Tamil Eelam nation-state. The version that has been propelled by the Tigers is nothing short of a completely autonomous state and sovereign control under Tamil leadership. For the L T T E , this manifests itself in a propaganda war. Spectacles such as Martyr's Day in the West serve to conflate the movement and bring hope to the people. Western nations such as Canada have permitted the L T T E to stage glorious celebrations of suicide bombers and child soldiers. These celebrations are then broadcast back home to show the intense support of the diaspora population abroad.  179  Tatla makes the suggestion that in general, identity within the Sikh diaspora has followed a path of consolidation rather than fragmentation. In fact, he argues that alienation from the host society has served to bring about stronger forms of ethnic attachment - "neither equal citizens, nor having enough power to express their cultural ambitions, the aspiring community leaders have looked back on their 'land of origins' for prestige and honour."  This view of ethnic fragmentation in multicultural states  reinforces some of the earlier work on issues of ethnicity. As noted by Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan, " the assimilating power of American society and culture operated on immigrant groups in different ways, to make them, it is true, something they had not been, but still something distinct and identifiable."  181  In many aspects of daily  routine, the authors noted, the elements of history, family, interest, and formal organization "operate to keep much of New York life channeled within the bounds of the ethnic group."  182  One key difference, however, is that the authors surmised that  international issues, at this time, had ceased to be of primary relevance for all groups other than the Jews.  183  They argued that domestic issues captured the attention of most of  New York's ethnic groups in the 1970s, especially those concerning occupational Collier, Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy. 75. Selliah Ignasius Yoganathan, "Diasporas and the Sri Lankan Conflict" (paper presented at the Curbing Human Rights Violations by Non-State Armed Groups, University of British Columbia, 2003). Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 210. Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan, Beyond the Melting Pot; the Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City, 2d ed. (Cambridge, Mass.,: M.l.T. Press, 1970). 13-14. Ibid. 19. Ibid. xxxv. 178  179  180  181  182 183  54  separation and racism. Although, the resulting conditions of ethnic separation are often similar today, there appears to have been a resurgence of homeland issues that may be propelled by changes in the international system, a more diverse set of migrants, and "new" forms of civil conflict. In some ways, an understanding of these complex issues is clouded by the polarity of the debate between assimilation and cultural pluralism. Rather than viewing ethnicity from an assimilation lens or a cultural pluralism angle, it may be more helpful to recognize that "the diasporic imagination often involves the search for routes as well as roots and the need to continuously negotiate and understand the state of being in-between place of origin and place of destination."  184  Observations about the role of ethnicity in large immigrant societies brings forth the importance of state autonomy for stateless diasporas such as the Sikhs and Tamils. As noted by Peter Van der Veer, "multiculturalist discourse in the west tends to recognize only national cultures, each connected to an independent nation-state."  185  He continues  to acknowledge that "for Sikh migrants the Punjab has become a spiritual homeland on which they depend to gain respect in Canada, the real homeland, but to which they do not 186  want to return."  In general, Punjabi claims within India have tended to focus on  multicultural rights, as evidenced by the Akali Dal's emphasis on linguistic pluralism, while external movements have campaigned more vehemently for sovereign control of the Punjab region.  187  As one of the strongest motivators for separatism outside of India,  most evidence suggests that the Canadian-Sikh diaspora maintains strong emotional attachment to the Punjab, and that identity construction centers on the twin pillars of religion and territory. Despite the more recent conceptions of the diasporic identity issues, some scholars note that Tamil groups demonstrate parallel motivations to Sikh groups that revolve around legitimacy within Canada. Sarah Wayland believes that state recognition is important in the host country to ensure multicultural rights, but "because the Tamil struggle is ongoing, Tamil identity lacks the recognition that would result from the Kennedy and Roudometof, "Communities across Borders under Globalising Conditions: New Immigrants and Transnational Cultures." 35. Peter van der Veer, Nation and Migration: The Politics of Space in the South Asian Diaspora, South Asia Seminar Series. (Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 1995). 12. Ibid. 12. Axel, The Nation's Tortured Body: Violence, Representation, and the Formation of a Sikh "Diaspora". 184  185  186  1 8 7  55  creation of an independent state."  Citing a similar trend with less emphasis on  territorial sovereignty, Pradeep Jeganathan proposes that the Tamil website provides a space for all Tamils "from New York, Oslo, Sydney, or Amsterdam, who have no wish to return to Eelam, no wish to live there, but who must believe in it if they are to j on  keep living where they are."  For Tamils in the diaspora the quest for an independent  or sovereign Tamil homeland provides an instrumental basis for increased cultural recognition in western democracies. An interesting debate in the literature on Sikh identity has involved the notions of nationalism and religion. Over the course of time and in different social contexts, Sikh recognition has been advanced on the status of nationhood or in terms of independent religious distinctiveness. Dusenbery notes that "in both India and the diaspora, Sikhs have been in a position of soliciting states, international bodies and the institutions of civil society for recognition as a distinct social group"  190  but that emphasis can be placed  on the sometimes competing variables of religion and territory. In some ways, claims for nationhood are more controversial than those based on religion. Dusenbery remarks that "to make such a case [for territorial autonomy] as convincing as possible ... requires that Sikh nationalist rhetoric emphasize internal homogeneity and historical continuity within delimited spatial boundaries as its dominant imagery and a unique Punjabi Sikh patrimony (blood, language, history, culture) as its dominant claim."  191  He places some  responsibility for these endeavors on host countries, noting that "where distinct 'national origins' is a primary basis for the extension of recognition and public support in multicultural regimes (such as that in Canada), it makes sense that Sikhs might want also to emphasize their separate identity by employing the narratives of Sikh nationhood." In contrast, the assimilationist model present in the U.S. has sparked movements based more on religious independence from Hinduism as Sikh-Americans aim to generate  Wayland, "Immigration, Multiculturalism and National Identity in Canada.." Jeganathan, "Eelam.Com: Place, Nation and Imagi-Nation in Cyberspace." 527. Eelam represents the Tamil name for an independent Tamil homeland in northern Sri Lanka and has roots in historical territorial claims. Verne A. Dusenbery, "'Nation' or 'World Religion'?: Master Narratives of Sikh Identity," in Sikh Identity: Continuity and Change, ed. Pashaura Singh and N. Gerald Barrier (Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 1999). 129. Ibid. 132. • 155  189  190  191  56  religious tolerance for Sikh practices. In both instances, however, both religion and territory are key components of diasporic identity, and may, at times, divide diaspora allegiances.  193  Another reason, however, for an emphasis on 'national status' may be that  with the recognition of Sikhism as a world religion comes a scholarly dissection of the Sikh religion. This practice has created major disputes in North America over Sikh studies Chairs at major universities.  194  Despite the fact that territorial concerns have been a predominant focus for Sikh activities in Canada, they are often filtered through religious institutions. According to Dusenbery, "the local gurdwaras, to be found wherever Sikhs have settled, are sacred spaces in which the Guru's divine substances are made available to any Sikh wherever resident."  195  From early settlement, the gurdwaras have provided a series of community  benefits for Sikh immigrants, and in terms of political projection, they have focused on both religious and homeland issues. Based on the preceding discussion of nationhood and religion, it is somewhat surprising that Canadian gurdwaras have often been sites of the nationhood struggle rather than on issues of religion. There have been exceptions to this trend, however, and a number of conflicts have arisen in Canadian temples over the overlapping issues of religion and identity. Substantial disputes in Canada have occurred between fundamentals and moderates over Sikh religious practices (chairs or floor seating, kirpans, turbans) as well as Punjabi territorial issues. In both cases, local gurdwaras provide a forum for contested ideas and temple elections determine the type of religious and political path followed by individual gurdwaras. A large portion of diaspora Sikh identity, then, is developed in the context of religious institutions, and the outcome reflects the nature of political action both within Canada and the Punjab. The fact that Canadian gurdwaras have continued to be strong supporters of territorial claims in the Punjab leads Dusenbery to question the usefulness of this primordial attachment to For example, some Sikh diaspora organizations, such as Babbar Khalsa have stressed the importance of both religious fundamentalism and territorial independence, while others such as the Council of Khalistan have focused more heavily on territorial concerns. This has been most explicitly referenced by the creation of Sikh studies departments at the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and the University of California - Berkeley, which has since ceased to be a center for Sikh studies. Substantial controversy has also emerged over individual scholarly works within the academic community. For more, see N . Gerald Barrier, "Issues of Sikh Identity," in Sikh Identity: Continuity and Change, ed. Pashaura Singh and N . Gerald Barrier (New Delhi: Manohar, 1999). Dusenbery, "A Sikh Diaspora? Contested Identities and Constructed Realities." 24. 193  194  195  57 the Punjab. In his view, the fact that such a large percentage of Sikhs live in the worldwide diaspora presents the opportunity to move away from an identity based on territory. He comments that "when Sikhs have come to constitute almost a paradigmatic example of a transnational community, might there not be some advantage to furthering a de-essentialized and de-territorialized discourse of identity that would incorporate rather than marginalize diasporan Sikhs and Sikh converts?"  196  For the most part, religion has not been a principal organizing factor in the Tamil case.  197  Tamils are impacted by religious issues in a more passive manner. In Sri Lanka,  they are often marginalized because they do not conform to the majority Buddhist religion. In the diaspora, however, religion has not been a key marginalizing factor. Wayland argues that the consciousness among the Tamil population is, in general, premised on a common identity that is rooted in a) ethnic persecution in Sri Lanka, b) the trauma of migration and a sense of guilt and c) economic and social marginalization in the host society.  198  As a group, then, the Tamil diaspora in Canada has powerful reasons  to rely on a form of identity that maintains invaluable links with the homeland and is pressured by the host environment to look inward to secure economic and social privileges. The multiple community associations that provide Tamils with tangible host country benefits mirror the political activities of Sikh gurdwaras, and also serve as venues for Tamil political discussion and debate. It is virtually impossible to disentangle independent homeland identity construction from the project put forward by the L T T E and Wayland notes that although "many Tamils in the diaspora may not actually support the L T T E ... their presence at Tamil public functions, such as Hero's Day celebrations or a march on the legislature, lends legitimacy to the separatist cause."  199  Dusenbery, "'Nation' or 'World Religion'?: Master Narratives of Sikh Identity." 138. In this i statement, Dusenbery is concerned about the position of a large number of Sikh converts that do not necessarily draw inspiration from the Punjab itself. Religion, has however, been a significant motivating factor for the Sinhalese population in Sri Lanka. Often, Tamils have been excluded on the grounds that they are not Buddhist. Wayland,"Ethnonationalist Networks and Transnational Opportunities: The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora." 197  198  58  3.3 Diasporic  Political Activity and Leadership  -  Sikhs  Both the Sikh and Tamil diasporas have engaged in homeland politics through myriad means of interaction. For Sikh groups, in addition to the role played in identity construction, the gurdwaras have also been centers for political debate, activity, and interaction with the homeland. According to Tatla, "gurdwaras have served many functions, providing social, educational and political activities as well as being religious centres."  200  For some, this religious orientation toward politics has the tendency to foster  extremism. Stewart Bell argues that "the first lesson of Air India was that when terrorists harness their cause to religion, there are no limits."  201  Other authors, however, place less  emphasis on religious fundamentalism and note the similarities between gurdwaras and other ethnic community organizations. Aside from arguments about the predilection for fundamental and radical behaviour within religious-based movements, diasporic political activity has been impacted by diaspora-homeland religious relationships. Principally, Sikhs in Canada have maintained a strong attachment to the homeland via religious institutions and diasporic organizations. As tensions between Sikhs and Hindus began to rise in India during the early 1980s, many Canadian Sikhs began to focus inward to the community and a return to the sanctity of local gurdwaras}®  2  When factional clashes occur in both  Canada and the United Kingdom, religious leaders often look to Amritsar for clarification and mediation.  203  Without a central Sikh organization in the diaspora and "local disputes  have led to bitter infighting with appeals to religious authority in Amritsar."  204  The idea  of a World Sikh Council has been floated but never adopted by the community, hence Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 74. Stewart Bell, Cold Terror: How Canada Nurtures and Exports Terrorism around the World (Toronto: John Wiley and Sons Canada Ltd., 2004). 21. According to Bell, the mistake on the part of Canadian intelligence was to view the Khalistan movement as a political movement, and therefore overlook the capacity for violence that is not tied to political aspirations. Kashmeri and McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada. 38. One prominent example of this occurred in Vancouver temples in the 1990s and involved a dispute between religious moderates willing to meld Sikh religious beliefs with Canadian customs and the orthodoxy fighting to preserve tradition. The disagreement resulted in violence over the use of chairs in local temples. Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 78. 2 0 0  201  2 0 2  2 0 3  2 0 4  59 leadership has continued to be spread over a number of political organizations. In the early stages, Dusenbery suggests that a lack of overarching leadership in fact facilitated the rise of the gurdwara system. In his view, the lack of any pan-Indian organization until 1971 resulted in a fall back position to local gurdwaras, and hints that diaspora political affiliations were not entirely destined to fall along religious or even ethnic lines.  205  This scenario among the diaspora has then led to the foundation of a number of Sikh organizations that claim both representation from the diaspora and a voice towards politics in the Punjab. Especially in terms of the Khalistan movement, Canada has served as a bedrock for Sikh organization and political activism. Arthur Helweg notes that "the present roots of Sikh extremism run deeper in Canada than anywhere else outside the Punjab."  206  All of the major Sikh political organizations maintain a fundamental  presence in Canada and have exerted substantial pressure on Punjabi and Indian politics. By most accounts, the principal diasporic organizations consist of the World Sikh Organization (WSO), the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), Babbar Khalsa (and its offshoot Babbar Khalsa International), and the Council of Khalistan (See Appendix B). A quick sketch of each organization does not do justice to the complexity, but serves to note the emphasis placed on homeland affairs. Continuing earlier trends, there has been less interest in host country social conditions when unrest permeates the homeland territory. However, it is important to note that some early moves toward Khalistan met with disapproval among the diaspora as many members sustained heavy allegiance to the newly created Indian state.  207  Violence against Sikhs in India in the late  1970s and early 1980s brought many more supporters from among the diaspora. Diasporic leadership is a contested issue among the Sikh diaspora. As noted, there are a number of organizations that seek to represent Sikh politics from abroad, with all major organizations commanding a substantial following. In the wake of the Golden Temple massacre, several new affiliations became prominent, which added to the complexity of diasporic leadership. As well, there have been internal splits within several organizations. With the death of Talwinder Singh Parmar in 1992, for example, 2 0 5 2 0 6 2 0 7  Dusenbery, "A Sikh Diaspora? Contested Identities and Constructed Realities." Helweg, "Sikh Politics in India: The Emigrant Factor." 319. Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 104.  60 the Babbar Khalsa group factionalized along sentiments regarding Parmar's "martyrdom" on the one hand, and his alleged role in the Air India bombing on the other. Rather than overarching representation for the Sikh diaspora, political action has often been propelled by individual gurdwaras in host countries. Tatla notes that "besides the substantial incomes of various gurdwaras, the prestige and central place of main gurdwaras in the whole community attracted the new leaders into their management."  208  He also notes that  in the post-1984 period, local gurdwaras have become centres for political discussion and information in addition to their religious roles. As well, they have been the principal site for the collection of funds to support causes in the homeland. It is often the case, then, that gurdwara elections provide a statement of diasporic leadership for particular communities in diaspora. While many gurdwaras were run by the Akali Dal political party in the past, leadership has often swung between the WSO and ISYF in the contemporary period. There is some evidence to suggest that the process is democratic. The ISYF has lost substantial support among the diaspora due to perceptions of manipulation and coercion within Canadian gurdwaras.  209  As part of the leadership dynamic, there are a series of interacting alliances between Sikh organizations, Canadian gurdwaras, and groups in the Punjab. For example, the Council of Khalistan is an independent body that does not work through gurdwaras in the diaspora. As well, the Council of Khalistan and the WSO have not aligned with factions, political parties, or militant groups in the Punjab. On the other hand, Babbar Khalsa has maintained a close relationship with its parent organization in the Punjab, and ISYF has created linkages with militant groups in the Punjab. These alliances have a substantial impact on the way diaspora politics are conducted. The Council of Khalistan and WSO have maintained a more active role in international politics and lobbies to national governments, which may in part be due to their more independent position and lack of accountability to gurdwara politics. Exact figures on financial support for militant groups in the Punjab are hard to specify, however, most of the money is moved from gurdwaras in the diaspora through groups in the Punjab. Tatla  Ibid. 122. Ibid. 185.  61 notes that "like the WSO, the Council of Khalistan has not aligned with any militant group, and its financial support to the Punjab has been negligible."  210  The other methods by which Sikh groups exert control over the Sikh diaspora are through the media or public demonstrations. All of the major Sikh organizations publish for the diaspora audience, and competitions for followings are as competitive as gurdwara leadership. The WSO's World Sikh News and ISYF's Chardhi Kala, have both competed with the more mainstream and moderate Indo-Canadian Times. As well, Sikh groups have petitioned major English-language dailies to present a more accurate portrayal of the Sikh movement and atrocities by the Indian government. Major Sikh organizations have also organized political rallies supporting the group's mandate and mission. Several of these demonstrations have coincided with Sikh religious holidays and official visits by Indian politicians. Of the four major organizations, Babbar Khalsa and the ISYF have been singled out by western governments as preaching intolerance and extremism. In fact, some have argued that "the Babbar Khalsa leaders seem to have identified the struggle as a religious war with violence as a necessary part of their strategy."  Former Babbar Khalsa leader,  Talwinder Singh Parmar was one of the key suspects, prior to his shooting death in the Punjab, in the Air India bombing that claimed the lives of 307 passengers and 22 crew members.  212  According to Canadian government sources, the ISYF maintains no  hesitation to resort to violence against Indian political figures as well as moderate 7  1 T.  members of the Sikh community. Each of the major Sikh organizations has maintained interlocking associations with the worldwide Sikh diaspora. Organizations have developed a fairly dense set of networks that foster communication and expression between North America, the Punjab and European Sikhs.  214  As well, Sikh leaders have also forged ties with other diasporas,  particularly Kashmiri groups, to petition and take action against the Indian government. According to Tatla, the Sikhs have also cultivated relationships with the Tamils, and Ibid. 128. Ibid. 187. Clark Blaise and Bharati Mukherjee, The Sorrow and the Terror: The Haunting Legacy of the Air India Tragedy (Markham, Ont: Viking, 1987). Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. More details can be accessed at _securitv/counter-terrorism/Entities_e.asp#29 Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 2 1 0 2 1 1  2 1 2  2 1 3  2 1 4  62 fellow Indians, the Nagas. He notes that both Nagas and Kashmiris marched alongside Sikh protesters in the wake of the Golden Temple massacre in Britain.  215  These types of  relationships serve to strengthen diplomatic resolve within diaspora political activity and distance Sikh populations from Indian migrants. In some instances, this has created hostile conditions between the two groups in the diaspora as well as between Sikh organizations and Indian officials in international events.  216  The fact that the Kashmiris  and Nagas also maintain separatist aspirations in India further serves to create a divide between Indian minorities and pro-India diasporans. In Canada, an example of strained relationships occurred during the struggle in Vancouver to adopt the name "Indian" or "Punjabi" market. Internationally, Sikh groups and Indian delegates clashed at the U N Congress of Ethnic Groups with Indian officials marching out in protest over the inclusion of a Sikh flag.  217  In addition to the direct political action toward the Punjab, both peaceful and violent, Sikh organizations have lobbied national governments and appealed to international bodies. Sikh groups have worked cooperatively with Canadian authorities to voice concerns to the U N , and have become involved in direct negotiations with the U N and other international bodies. Kashmeri and McAndrew note that on October 13, 1971, "readers of the New York Times were confronted by a bizarre half-page advertisement declaring the establishment of the Republic of Khalistan and requesting recognition by the United Nations."  218  As well, the Federation of Sikh Societies of  Canada campaigned the senior investigator of the United Nations Human Rights Committee in New York to denounce the illegal arrest and torture of Sikh subjects in the Punjab.  219  As noted earlier, this form of political activism was utilized early on in the  struggle by the Akali Dal party in India. Primarily, these links have focused on the repression of minority rights and human rights abuses carried out by the Indian military, police, and central government. Despite consistent efforts, Sikh organizations have failed to gain observer status at the United Nations. However, at other times these strategies  2 1 5  2 , 6  2 1 7  2 1 8  Ibid. 137. Ibid. Ibid. 202-203. Kashmeri and McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated  Canada. 5. 2 , 9  Ibid. 27.  63 have been successful, with a brief membership in the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) that resulted in a Sikh flag at the Hague in 1993.  220  Membership  was revoked due to the concerns the UNPO steering committee held over the Council of Khalistan's representation of the Sikh people. The overall result of Sikh diasporic representation has been one of contestation. No single Sikh organization has emerged as a unified voice for the Sikh people abroad, and groups have engaged each other in direct confrontation over human rights campaigns, government lobbies, media representation and gurdwara leadership. In Washington, D.C., for example, the Council of Khalistan, the WSO and ISYF all have offices, and contend for government attention. Internecine battles and factional clashes have reduced the capacity of both Babbar Khalsa and the ISYF, causing many Sikhs in the diaspora to identify with individual leaders rather than organizational affiliations.  3.4 Diasporic  Political Activity and Leadership  -  Tamils  Tamil political activity has largely been funneled through the L T T E organization and has involved direct political and military intervention against the Sri Lankan government, appeals to the Canadian government, as well as international lobbying. Through intense organization and the elimination of political rivals, the L T T E has become the de facto voice of the Tamil people, both within Sri Lanka and throughout the diaspora. Even the Sri Lankan government has indicated the need to deal diplomatically with the L T T E in efforts to end conflict in Sri Lanka. The L T T E is not the only Tamil organization, however, that engages in diasporic political activity. Despite Gunaratna's claim that homeland political interest is only motivated by experience with the conflict, early Tamil migrants provided assistance to several development projects in northern Sri Lanka. As well, diasporic political organizations such as the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada (TESOC), emerged prior to the L T T E in the 1970s in tandem with increased  Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 203. Membership in the UNPO, which has seen four of its members gain independence (Estonia, Armenia, Georgia, and Latvia) provided substantial recognition for the Sikh cause. The Sikhs also gained their brief membership alongside the Nagas, from Northeastern India, who are still members at the UNPO.  64 Tamil electoral success in Sri Lanka.  221  Since that time, however, the organization has  been taken over by the more recent political refugees, many of whom supported the L T T E . It is problematic to assess how many non-LTTE organizations currently exist due to the fact that many groups function as front-organizations for the L T T E or are controlled behind the scenes by the L T T E leadership (See Appendix B). Control over and representation for the diaspora has been solidified by the L T T E with actions parallel to those that emerged within the Sri Lankan conflict setting. Early on in the Sri Lankan conflict the L T T E waged a fierce battle against rival Tamil groups, eliminating contenders and recruiting supporters with both a sticks and carrots approach. According to former Canadian ambassador to Sri Lanka "a particular trademark of the Tigers, and one that reveals their true character, has been their systematic murder of moderate Tamil leaders in an effort to ensure that the Tigers and their extremist supporters enjoy total dominance and control over the community."  222  These strong-arm  tactics, though, have also been accompanied by a precise public goods approach to Tamil populations within northern Sri Lanka. In the midst of a brutal and intractable conflict, the L T T E has been able to provide the Tamil population with a modicum of safety (as long as one supports the cause), public health, and for the most part a functioning 223  economy.  Within Sri Lanka, there are a number of other Tamil groups such as  P L O T E , T E L O , EROS with moderate support, but according to some scholars, it is precisely their lack of international presence that has enabled the L T T E to become the 224  primary representative. Perhaps the sense of uniqueness attached to L T T E operations is most clearly exemplified through their direct involvement from abroad in the conflict in Sri Lanka. Through various initiatives the L T T E has taken non-state outside support for conflict to an unprecedented level. The ability to do so has emerged in part from the capture of diasporic leadership and techniques garnered from active conflict in Sri Lanka. Political activity has ranged from democratic politics to violent activities such as terrorism, Zunzer, "Diaspora Communities and Civil Conflict Transformation." Zunzer notes that primary political associations at this time contributed to development projects in the villages from which they had emigrated. These projects were primarily focused on educational links with alumni institutions. Martin Collacott, "The Canadian Connection," National Post, June 13 2000. O'Sullivan, "Sri Lanka: Civil Strife, Civil Society, and the State 1983-1995." Gunaratna, "Internationalisation of the Tamil Conflict (and Its Implications)." 119. 221  2 2 2  2 2 3  2 2 4  65 coercion, and murder. Interestingly, Sri Lanka, throughout the civil conflict has seen the continuation of democratic elections, in which the L T T E has taken its place alongside Tamil, Sinhalese, and Muslim political parties. In the 2004 elections, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), thought by some to be a proxy for the L T T E  2 2 5  , captured just under  seven percent of the national vote and 22 seats out of a possible 225.  226  As well, they  have engaged in Canadian politics, running a number of pro-Martin Tamil candidates in the most recent liberal leadership votes in order to preview their ability to influence federal constituencies.  227  Similar to Canadian-Sikh politics, the Tamil constituency tends  to vote with homeland politics in mind. The Canadian internet site publishes information on how Canadian-Tamils should vote, and during recent elections, the site's publishers noted that "although they abhorred the policies of the Conservative Party, they had decided to back [Jim] Brown because he was a guest speaker during Black July Remembrance Day."  228  The L T T E has also engaged in political action at the international level. Peter Chalk recognizes that the L T T E has aimed lobby efforts at human rights organizations and emphasized the suppression the Tamil minority faces against a Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka. Links from Tamil-controlled websites to those of NGO groups have further fuelled legitimacy claims for the Tamil insurgency.  229  The website for one,  describes the Tamil movement with reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Minority Rights Group, Amnesty International, and the U N Sub Commission on the Protection of Minorities in a single background document on the liberation movement.  230  Perhaps due to the LTTE's non-alignment with international human rights  Shantha K. Hennayake, fs Ltte the Sole Representative of Tamils? [Online Newspaper] (Asian Tribune, August 23, 2004 [cited November 9 2004]); available from For a detailed break down of the election results and commentary see Campbell Clark, "Tamils Elect Delegates in Bid for Political Clout," Globe and Mail, September 22 2003. Bell, Cold Terror: How Canada Nurtures and Exports Terrorism around the World. X v i i i . Peter Chalk, "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (Ltte) International Organization and Operations - a Preliminary Analysis," (Ottawa: Canadian Security Intelligence Service, 2000). And, Byman et al., Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements. International Federation of Tamils, The Legitimacy of the Armed Struggle of the Tamil People (1992 [cited July 29 2004]); available from 2 2 3  2 2 6  2 2 7  2 2 8  2 2 9  2 3 0  66 norms, less emphasis has been placed on efforts to influence homeland politics through international institutions. As in the case of the Sikh diaspora and its principal organizations, the L T T E has also made extensive connections with other separatist organizations for the purpose of military training, arms distribution, propaganda and support. Most explicitly detailed by terrorism expert, Rohan Gunaratna, the L T T E has established regional links with over twenty separatist groups in Tamil Nadu, the Punjabi Sikhs, the Kashmiri mujahidin, the Assamese U L F A (United Liberation Front of Assam), the Andhara Peoples War Group, and globally with F A R C (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), Namibia's SWAPO (South West African People's Organization), and Eritrea-Ethiopia's EPLF (Eritrean People's Liberation Front) and TPLF (Tigrean People's Liberation Front).  231  As  well, intelligence experts note that Tamil insurgents have trained in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley with Fatah, the militant wing of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization), and may have come into contact there with members of the Japanese Red Army and the PKK (Kurdish Worker's Party).  232  Violence has been a central component of the LTTE's strategy in its worldwide operations, but unlike the Sikh case, large-scale "terrorism" has not had a direct impact on Canadian citizens.  233  Within Canada, however, there have been fairly definitive links  drawn between illicit Tamil activities such as drug-trading, human trafficking, and arms procurement. There have also been strong Canadian connections to violence in Sri Lanka. For example, in 1996, funds from a Canadian bank account purchased explosives in Singapore used in a massive bomb that killed 86 and injured more than 1,400 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  234  Canada is a major player in the worldwide network of L T T E  operations and Tamil-Canadian operatives have likely played a role in numerous other  Rohan Gunaratna, International and Regional Implications of the Sri Lankan Tamil Insurgency (International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 1998 [cited November 28 2003]); available from Ibid.([cited). There has, however, been a series of gang related activity that some writers attribute to power struggles between anti- and pro-LTTE factions. Although this type of violence has occurred within Canada, it has not generally affected citizens outside of Tamil ethnic groups. For more see, Chris Summers, Tamils Preying on Tamils (BBC News, 2002 [cited August 1 2004]); available from For an opposing view see Tom Blackwell, "Toronto Police Raid Tamil Gangs 40 Arrested," National Post, October 20 2001. Collier, Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy. 85. 231  2 3 2  2 j J  2 3 4  67 activities. Most scholars note that the L T T E is involved in numerous illicit activities that help to fund the war effort and in many ways functions as successfully as some national militaries. It is the only organization to have assassinated two presidents - Rajiv Gandhi of India in 1991 and Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka in 1993 - as well as an assassination attempt in December, 1999 that left current Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga partially blinded. It runs what many have called the most lethal and organized terrorist network in the world.  235  As of 1998, the Tigers had committed 155  battlefield and civilian suicide attacks, compared to the 50 carried out by all other groups 236  worldwide.  Gunaratna notes that "except for the PLO and the IRA, the L T T E is the  only insurgent group that owns and operates a fleet of deep sea ships."  237  In other  instances, they have shown distinct technological efficiency. According to Wayland, they were the first terrorist organization to launch a cyber attack when they bombarded Sri Lankan embassies around the world in August 1998.  238  Technological supremacy on behalf of the L T T E has also enabled a virtual monopoly over the diaspora's media content. The Tamil media in Canada has exploded recently and now boasts ten weekly Tamil newspapers, four Tamil language radio stations and three cinemas that show Tamil language films.  239  According to Gunaratna,  over eighty percent of Tamil newspapers in North Atlantic countries are owned by the LTTE.  2 4 0  The ability to control media content and display supremacy over that produced  by Sri Lankan authorities has been a crucial tool in the LTTE's battle for both Tamil leadership and in the fight against Sri Lankan forces. Struggles for leadership in the Tamil diaspora have followed a different path from those in the Sikh diaspora, with the L T T E emerging as the major institution. Stewart Bell recognizes the importance of sole representation for the L T T E , and notes that "as in any society, Tamil Canadians are divided in their views about the Tamil Tigers. A degree of  Chalk, "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (Ltte) International Organization and Operations - a Preliminary Analysis." Ibid. Gunaratna, "Internationalisation of the Tamil Conflict (and Its Implications)." 121. Ibid, Wayland, "Ethnonationalist Networks and Transnational Opportunities: The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora." 421. The attack was carried out by a group claiming the name of the Internet Black Tigers. Hyndman, "Aid, Conflict and Migration: The Canada-Sri Lanka Connection." 11. Gunaratna, "Internationalisation of the Tamil Conflict (and Its Implications)." 114. 2 3 3  2 3 6  2 3 7  2 3 8  2 3 9  2 4 0  68 ruthlessness is therefore required to maintain the fiction of a unified front and prevent community institutions from splitting between pro-LTTE and anti-LTTE factions, which would send a mixed message to the outside world."  241  Again, as in Sri Lanka, the L T T E  has used violence and intimidation to secure its goals and aspirations. For example, the Tamil Resource Centre in Toronto has received bomb threats and arson attempts because of its moderate stance towards the peaceful resolution of the conflict.  242  On the other  hand, the L T T E , and its various front organizations, have made available a large number of community services to the diaspora population and have assisted new migrants with housing, employment, and networking opportunities. The Tamil Eelam society, for instance, is the largest ethno-specific provider of social services in Ontario. As well, Tamil associations often provide the only reliable news sources for information coming out of northern Sri Lanka.  243  Bridging the gap between the carrots and sticks approach,  community policing and protection have been evident in both Sri Lanka and communities abroad. In effect, this provides the L T T E with involuntary backing from the community due to safety concerns.  244  Rising gang-related violence in Toronto neighbourhoods has  reinforced a need for general security concerns in Tamil-dominated areas. As the most powerful organization in multiple turf battles, the L T T E is often able to provide this security in return for support. Much debate surrounds the notions of popular support for the L T T E . There is little doubt that intimidation tactics have been used to secure a level of financial and political support from the diaspora community. Much the same as militarized refugee camps closer to conflict zones, as many as 8,000 L T T E guerillas are estimated to reside in the Toronto area, producing substantial intimidation to extort funds from the diaspora.  245  The L T T E enforces a taxing system in Tamil-controlled Sri Lanka as well as  Bell, Cold Terror: How Canada Nurtures and Exports Terrorism around the World. 49. Tariq Hassan-Gordon, Toronto Tamils War over Peace (Newsfront, 2000 [cited July 20 2000]); available from The Tamil Resource Centre received a number of threats over a play with the title "War and Exile" in which many of the cast members backed out due to fears of reprisal from extremist groups. Wayland, "Ethnonationalist Networks and Transnational Opportunities: The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora." Especially in times of intense conflict in Sri Lanka, news about family and friends is only available through LTTE-sponsored websites. During a Tamil offensive during November 1999, two Canadian-Tamil websites, TamilCanadian and Tamilnet received over a million hits. Byman et al., Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements. 56. Bell, "Thousands of Tamil Guerillas in Toronto, Police Say." 241  2 4 2  2 4 3  2 4 4  2 4 5  69 abroad, demanding, by some estimates, up to $646 a year from those employed in western nations.  246  If money is not supplied voluntarily, the L T T E follows two courses  of action. The first tactic involves withholding community services in the host country. These services may consist of homeland communication, business and employment opportunities, and housing assistance. In many cases, the provision of these services creates a dependency on the L T T E throughout the diaspora. Some members of the diaspora may be more directly dependent on the L T T E , if the L T T E has helped to arrange emigration from Sri Lanka.  247  If diasporic dependence on the L T T E does not elicit  financial support for the cause, the second recourse involves threatening family and friends in the homeland. The L T T E maintains an intricate database of Tamils worldwide with all the information necessary for extortion and blackmail.  248  Gunaratna recognizes  the cross-uses of tactics, noting that the L T T E "has instilled the discipline and dedication of its domestic organization in its overseas network."  249  In contrast, National University  of Malaysia professor P. Ramasamy believes that one should not underestimate the extent of diaspora support for the L T T E cause, noting that "the relationship cannot be described as the dependent one as the imagination of a Tamil nation by the Diaspora went beyond the confines of the armed struggle."  250  Contestations over public support aside, the L T T E leadership in the diaspora remains relatively unchallenged. Individually, as recognized by Gunaratna, "[Vellupai] Prabhakaran maintains tight control. He is the final authority on each and every major issue."  251  The L T T E has become the de facto spokesperson for the Tamil diaspora as  well as the Tamils in Sri Lanka, even in negotiations with the Sri Lankan government. Much of the uniqueness attached to the Tamil diaspora comes from of the L T T E ' s  Ibid. 50. R A N D researchers put the figure given by Canadian-Tamils at approximately $240 a year in 1999 for all Tamils, but they also use the $646 figure proposed by both Stewart Bell and Rohan Gunaratna to refer to the employed portion of the population. The L T T E has strong connections with human smuggling rings, usually passing through Thailand and charging up to $32,000 for safe passage to western countries. Gunaratna, "Sri Lanka: Feeding the Tamil Tigers." 212. Ibid. 204. P. Ramasamy, The Tamil Diaspora's Quest for Eelam (2000 [cited November 28 2003]); available from Ramasamy attributes diaspora support to both social and political marginalization in host countries as well as the historical lack of an independent homeland among both Sri Lankan Tamils and the larger Tamil population in Tamil Nadu. Gunaratna, International and Regional Implications of the Sri Lankan Tamil Insurgency ([cited). 2 4 6  2 4 7  2 4 8  2 4 9  2 5 0  251  70 unquestioned leadership. What might Tamil political activity look like in the LTTE's absence? Based on theories regarding stateless diasporas and the case study on Canadian-Sikhs, it can be argued that mass support for political action in defence of Tamil territory might remain strong. By several accounts, L T T E manipulation and coercion over the Tamil diaspora can be viewed as a entirely instrumental construction of Tamil identity. However, as most theorists contend, it would be very difficult to sustain the type of support needed for homeland politics, funding, and public protest based purely on instrumental means. Noting the important "dialectical" relationship between the diaspora and the L T T E , Sriskandrajah remarks that "diaspora politics cannot be disassociated completely from other stakeholders: just as the L T T E propaganda has mobilized the diaspora, so too must diaspora sentiment impact on the L T T E " .  2 5 2  The  methods and tactics of the Tamil diaspora would no doubt be very different from those undertaken by the LTTE's concentrated leadership and coerced support, but the essential characteristics of the diaspora may remain intact. It is likely that a similar Tamil organization would adopt the type of radical approach promulgated by the L T T E . It may not be able to capture the overwhelming support without the war history and coercive tactics of the L T T E , but it would probably represent one end of the diasporic spectrum.  3.5 Generational  Impact  As noted earlier, scholarly literature on the impact of generational change among diaspora populations is divided. Some claim that political mobilization is only possible in the first generation of migrants, while others claim that it may even be disaffected youth in subsequent generations that generate the most substantial support for diasporic causes. It is difficult to make concrete assertions about identity constructions among diaspora populations as a whole, but the high number of ethnic community organizations and diasporic homeland political groups suggests that a large percentage of both Sikhs and Tamils continue to frame communal identity with reference to the homeland.  253  Quoted in Zunzer, "Diaspora Communities and Civil Conflict Transformation." 26. This quote is taken from Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, "Tamil Diaspora Politics," in Encyclopedia of Diasporas (Yale/Kluwer, 2004, (forthcoming)). The term diaspora can not always taken for granted. Karen Leonard, for one argues that it might be better to refer to a Punjabi diaspora in North America, or even a Jat diaspora, but there is little that presupposes the Sikh identifier and its religious connotations. For more see, Karen Leonard, "State, 2 5 3  71 Tatla believes that "theories lag behind conceptual tools necessary to deal with group passions, the symbols that move them and the intensity of attachments which cut across borders and nations."  254  Despite this, he argues that Sikh identity has continued to  remain rooted in traditional Punjabi custom, going against studies that promote the importance of generational support, claiming that "all existing research suggests that second and third generation Sikhs also adhere, by and large, to Punjabi cultural norms."  255  Some scholars note that Sikh collective identity is especially strong, and "in  comparison with Chinese and Japanese, Sikhs seemed to be more able to use cultural ideologies of collective support and charity to form informal systems of mutual aid."  256  Diasporic links to identity formation are more recent in the Tamil case and have more closely flowed from the dual dictates of migration and conflict. Many Tamil immigrants have personally experienced the ravages of war and conflict in Sri Lanka, bringing with them an attachment to the homeland that bears these emotional traumas. For some migrants, intense emotional attachment to the Tamil homeland has been strengthened by the guilt experienced upon reaching relative safety in Canada and other western nations. Furthermore, cohesiveness among the diaspora population may be a result of more recent arrival. 0ivind Fuglerud notes that "the fact that nearly all Tamil refugees are scattered members of one generation is important to the understanding of exile dynamics; their social points of reference are elsewhere."  257  Gunaratna, as well,  believes in the importance of generational support for diasporic activities. Gunaratna suggests that migration and conflict are the sole motivating factors for Tamil identity towards the homeland. The result, according to Gunaratna is that the "main impediment against second-generation support is their overwhelming lack of emotional attachment to the homeland, as well as the LTTE's project of an independent homeland."  258  Culture, and Religion: Political Action and Representation among South Asians in North America.," in Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies (University of Toronto Press, 2000). Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 207. Ibid. 67. Norman Buchignani and Doreen Marie Indra, "Key Issues in Canadian-Sikh Ethnic and Race Relations: Implications for the Study of the Sikh Diaspora," in The Sikh Diaspora: Migration and the Experience Beyond the Punjab, ed. N. Gerald Barrier and Verne A. Dusenbery (Delhi: Chanakya Publications, 1989). 150. Fuglerud, Life on the Outside: The Tamil Diaspora and Long Distance Nationalism. 75. Italics in original. Gunaratna, "Sri Lanka: Feeding the Tamil Tigers." 209. 2 5 4 2 5 5  2 5 6  2 5 7  2 5 8  72 The importance of generational impacts can also be related to the reasons for emigration. It is often the case that previous generations had different motivations for leaving the homeland than subsequent migrants. Gunaratna suggests that earlier economic migrants are less motivated to engage in political issues in the homeland than the more recent political migrants. This view is contrasted by other scholars who note little disparity between economic migrants and political refugees. Zunzer, for example, notes that although diasporic activity differed among early Tamil groups in Canada, there were substantial connections with Tamil populations in Sri Lanka. As well, events that have occurred subsequently in the homeland have further solidified the Tamil diaspora's position in regard to warfare in Sri Lanka. This appeared most strongly amid diaspora support during the Tamil offensive against the technologically superior Indian peacekeeping forces in 1989 and the capture of the strategic Elephant Pass in 2000.  259  A comparison of Sikh and Tamil diasporas in Canada seems to refute the claim that diaspora support is highly dependent on the reasons for emigration, collective migration patterns, and generational consistency. The fact that Tamil migrants have been displaced by the very conflict they seek to influence, and the fact they have often left in collectives may help to consolidate support for the cause and reduce dissent. However, evidence of popular support for Sikh rights and at times political independence belies the importance of collective migration and conflict. Some of the literature notes that "second- third or fourth-generation migrants might be empowered to reinvent and revitalise their former national cultural identities long after it had seemed that they had moved firmly in the direction of host-society assimilation."  260  The fact that the primary  driver for Sikh emigration was primarily economic demonstrates the power of latent nationalist feelings within the diaspora. In the early stage, Canadian Sikhs organized against British imperialism and in the wake of the Golden Temple massacre, there was sustained political activity. Without direct experience with conflict, the Sikh cause would also be expected to receive less support, however, this has not generally been the case.  Gunaratna, "Internationalisation of the Tamil Conflict (and Its Implications)." 119. Kennedy and Roudometof, "Communities across Borders under Globalising Conditions: New Immigrants and Transnational Cultures." 21. 2 6 0  73  3.6 Differences  in Political  Behaviour  Although the identity associations with the homeland territory have remained strong in both groups, the methods for political activism toward the homeland have differed. In each case, diasporic organizations have engaged in direct political action in the homeland, however, the Tamil diaspora, has for the most part concentrated more efforts at this political level. The diaspora, and the L T T E , have been effective at intervening in homeland affairs without the assistance of third-party organizations. Sikh groups, on the other hand, have participated in multifaceted political action at the direct level, as well as sustained efforts to lobby national and international institutions. Why has this been the case? There are four possible explanations for differences in political behaviour: a) the Sikhs have over a much longer time period institutionalized appeals to international organizations, b) the Sikhs have had historical experience in dealing with more powerful opponents, c) Tamil leadership has arisen directly out of the war context, and has been successful in direct confrontational strategies and d) the Tamils lost external state support in the early stages of the conflict. Although political action is not entirely explained by the T A N model for transnational activity, it does help elicit where some types of action are blocked and where alternative avenues may be more effective. First, early on in the Canadian experience, Sikh expatriates became involved in the struggle against the British for Indian independence. At this time, there were minor endeavors to engage in direct political action in the Punjab, as noted by the Ghadr movement and efforts to organize a military force to return to India. These early efforts were aroused in part by the lack of protection provided in Canada for Sikh citizens as members of the Commonwealth. Sikh emigrants were dismayed by the lack of British and Commonwealth support to counter prejudicial Canadian policies restricting Sikh immigration and family reunions, and therefore appealed for increased rights to supranational Commonwealth authorities in both Canada and Britain. With independence from Britain came vague promises of a Sikh state alongside the Muslims in Pakistan and Hindus in India. Preaching principles of self-determination, the newly formed United Nations became a logical target for Sikh activism. The Akali Dal political party in the Punjab campaigned directly to the United Nations in the period following British retreat. As well, in the contemporary period, efforts.for Khalistani independence  74 have targeted international audiences, as evidenced by the New York Times advertisement launched in 1971. Around the time of the Golden Temple massacre as well, Sikh supporters found several sympathetic voices in the U.S. Congress. Second, as part of the political action model proposed in Chapter Two, it is important to establish the nature of the homeland - diaspora relationship. Much as Keck and Sikkink's model predicts, Sikh diasporic activity has often been blocked during the direct confrontational stage. In meeting head-on both British and Indian authorities, Sikhs have found themselves in a difficult battle for recognition and independence. In Canada, direct intervention by Indian intelligence has created problems for Sikh organizations and has often placed unwarranted suspicions by CSIS and the RCMP onto certain members and groups of the Sikh community.  261  Because of this, they have looked  externally to national governments, international organizations, and transnational human rights groups. As well, as a state comprising a plethora of minorities, India has become adept at responding to minority political movements, and will expend extensive resources to quell "subversion". Kashmeri and McAndrew support this claim well in an explanation of the numerous attempts by Indian intelligence to disrupt Sikh activities in 262  Canada.  They even go as far as to claim that Indian intelligence agents had a direct  role in the Air India bombing, and may have used it as a tool to de-legitimize the Sikh cause worldwide. As well, these incidents, even in their reduced claims, show how seriously the diaspora movement was taken by Indian authorities and its ability to bring international attention to the plight of Sikhs within the Punjab. Third, in contrast to the Sikh independence cause, which was generated largely from within the diaspora, Tamil nationalism has emerged as a direct result of conflict in the homeland. For over twenty years, Tamil groups in northern Sri Lanka have engaged in protracted conflict with Sri Lankan military forces, the result being a military stalemate between the two sides. The ability of the L T T E to eliminate rival groups and establish control in both Sri Lanka and abroad has already been mentioned. As well, intense organization and support from the diaspora has allowed the L T T E to develop a highly intricate worldwide establishment that maintains a deep water navy, multiple business 2 6 1  Canada.  Kashmeri and McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated  75  and criminal enterprises, a large funding network, and the ability to procure arms from a number of sources. Because of this, and in addition to the technological supremacy over Sri Lankan troops, the L T T E has been relatively successful in its direct political efforts in the homeland. Since 9/11, the LTTE's activities have come under closer scrutiny by national governments and international organizations. By several accounts, this has decreased the LTTE's confrontational strategies and encouraged current efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Tamil effectiveness at direct confrontational politics and the fact that the L T T E bargains directly with the Sri Lankan government and the third party mediator, Norway, during peace negotiations means that there is little incentive to look to national governments or international organizations. Because the L T T E is a warring party, however, there are some essential obstacles to working concurrently with international organizations and NGOs. The fact that many L T T E aims and activities do not mesh with established international norms makes it problematic to form working relationships in the international sphere. Tamil groups have made appeals to international organizations and the numerous Tamil websites with links to human rights organizations attests to the importance of gaining international legitimacy. However, many of such appeals have been both conducted without consent from the organizations themselves and have been very much secondary to the LTTE's direct political efforts. Prominent organizations such as Amnesty International have, for the most part, brought international attention to human rights abuses on both sides of the conflict.  263  Fourth, direct political action undertaken by the L T T E also demonstrates the changing nature of international relations. Until 1989, Sri Lankan Tamils received military and political support from the Indian government, and were able to operate and organize openly in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. After losing state backing and relying more heavily on western-based diaspora populations, the L T T E has shown the greater benefits accrued through independent political action. At the time when the Tamil insurgency became a security threat for India, intervention was chosen over support, thus increasing the complexity of the conflict. The L T T E has continued to lobby national governments such as Canada, but efforts have been largely aimed at providing the space See  76 from which to conduct direct political action. The fact that Canadian authorities have granted refugee status to large numbers of Tamil emigrants, have been reluctant to deport suspected criminals to Sri Lanka, and refuse to provide donor funding to the Sri Lankan government, suggests that the Tamil diaspora has been moderately effective in lobbying the Canadian government. This success in Canadian institutions and the relative inability of the Sri Lankan government to counteract strong diasporic organizations presents operational avenues that are largely closed to Sikh political organizations.  77  Chapter 4 - Host Country Influences: The Canadian Political Environment Diaspora politics involve activity that transcends dual social spaces. Although the nature of activity is directed toward the homeland region, it is conducted from a base inside a recognized state structure. Because of this, diasporas cannot be viewed in isolation, or somehow outside of the nation-state system, and the effects exerted by host states on both diaspora and ethnic populations residing within their borders are many. There are three principal ways in which receiving states can affect, shape, and modify the political activities of the populations that immigrate: multicultural policies, immigration status (and judicial decisions regarding its use), and intelligence/policing efforts to prevent potentially illegal diaspora activities. In turn, in western democracies, national governments are also constrained in their behaviour through diaspora groups' ability to influence electoral politics, international agreements regarding refugees, and the protection of individual rights (in Canada the Charter of Rights and Freedoms). As noted in Brian Keith Axel's discussion of the Sikh diaspora, "most studies of diasporas ultimately say very little about the diaspora as a form of belonging and peoplehood but end up offering analyses of the nation-states in which either diaspora reside of their places of origin are located."  264  This section lays out some of the ways in which a  domestic base such as Canada shapes the type of diaspora politics that emerge from Canada, and the obstacles that the Canadian government faces in attempting to prevent possibly dangerous activity.  4.1  Multiculturalism Part of what distinguishes Canadians from other liberal democratic nations is the  institutional dedication to multiculturalism, the celebration of diversity, as opposed to assimilation models or the "melting pot" culture that predominates in the U.S. According  Axel,  "Diaspora". 22.  The Nation's Tortured Body: Violence, Representation, and the Formation of a Sikh  78  to Karen Leonard "while the U.S. has a 'laissez-faire' approach and a strong emphasis on individualism ... the Canadian state has explicit multicultural policies supporting the maintenance of ethnic cultures."  265  Coupled with Canada's high immigration and asylum  rates, the result is a "mosaic" of cultures living in a single political and social space, and an institutionalized tolerance for pluralism. This view has been promoted by both official government declarations as well as individual politicians. A topic of intense debate, opponents have highlighted the actions of prominent Canadian politicians to place multiculturalism ahead of security interests. Paul Martin hit Canadian headlines when he attended a fundraiser for a well-known L T T E front organization and claimed that "to condemn these people, to call them terrorists, is anti-Canadian", and that to link Tamils and cultural events with terrorist activity is not the Canadian way.  266  In their defence, the ministers (Martin and Minna)  "claimed" that the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT) was a community organization and that it should not be punished for the actions of a few 267  extreme members.  Likewise, despite the fact that then secretary of state for external  affairs, Joe Clark, stated that "the activities of a small, militant minority in the Sikh community represent the most serious internal security threat Canada faces today" , 268  federal MPs Sheila Copps and Sergio Marchi were outspoken against Indian government pressure to avoid Sikh community functions, claiming that Sikh separatism was no different from other separatist claims.  269  Multicultural policies have dictated a large portion of government and public response to ethnic groups in Canada, with the result, according to Kalevi Holsti, that "ethnicity, in brief, has become a core concept in the self-definition of Canadians, and a characteristic that distinguishes Canada from most other countries."  270  Furthermore, it is  often assumed in pluralistic countries that the "place of origin" or "national origin" form Leonard, "State, Culture, and Religion: Political Action and Representation among South Asians in North America.." 22. Kevin Michael Grace, "Dance of Death: Paul Martin Remains Defiant over His Support for a Front Group for Foreign Terrorists," The Report Newsmagazine 27, no. 5. 265  2 5 6  2 6 7 2 6 8  Bell, Cold Terror: How Canada Nurtures and Exports Terrorism around the World. 57. Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 175.  Ibid. 174. Kalevi J. Holsti, "Ethnicity and Canadian Foreign Policy," in Diasporas in World Politics: The Greeks in Comparative Perspective, ed. Dimitri Constas and Athanassios Platias (London: MacMillan Press Ltd., 1993). 139. 2 6 9 2 7 0  79 the building-blocks from which multicultural recognition and ethnicity emerge.  271  This  has important consequences for stateless diasporas that claim no recognized state entity to propel those multicultural claims. Among Sikh groups this dilemma has been a principal concern. The Siromani Akali Dal Party of Canada issued the message that "Sikhs are a separate people who should be known neither as East Indians nor as Canadians of Origins in India, but simply as Canadian Sikhs."  272  Dusenbery notes that "one of the appeals of  Khalistan to diasporan Sikhs may be the creation of a publicly recognized 'country of origin', from which Sikhs may legitimately make claim to their own political voice and to the perquisites of public support for cultural diversity."  273  Tatla as well notes that the  "enduring appeal of Sikh ethno-nationalism seems to be because its elite perceives a Sikh heritage that needs state protection."  274  Without state recognition, ethnic groups face  distinct obstacles toward proclaiming minority rights in their adopted countries. Ramasamy attributes similar logic to the strong attachment to the Tamil homeland, noting that "overwhelming support for the creation of Eelam is also a reflection of a deep psychological need among Tamils for the creation of a Tamil homeland ... Tamils have not succeeded to this date to carve out a separate independent territory for themselves."  Former Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Martin  Collacott believes that Canada's failure to halt extremist support stems from a "misguided interpretation of multiculturalism."  276  In his view, Canada's brand of  multiculturalism compels it to be tolerant of all views brought to the country, even those that promote violent means of political action. Collacott argues that there should be limits to multicultural recognition when immigrant ideals contrast with "Canadian values" and when refugees or immigrants use Canada as a base to settle vendettas in *  277  other countries.  *  •  Because of the large ethnic imbalance of immigration from Sri Lanka  to Canada, Tamil culture is recognized as the dominant heritage. At times, however, the quest to establish an independent Tamil culture and homeland has been overshadowed by the violent activities of segments of the diaspora. 271 2 7 2 2 7 3  2 7 4  2 7 5  2 7 6  Dusenbery, " A Sikh Diaspora? Contested Identities and Constructed Realities." 32. Ibid. 33. Ibid. 33. Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 33. Ramasamy, The Tamil Diaspora's Quest for Eelam ([cited).  Collacott, "The Canadian Connection."  80 If multicultural policies present a dilemma for stateless groups, what are the results in countries practicing assimilation? Byman, et al, believe that the effects are positive and that "if diasporas are allowed to assimilate fully into their adopted countries, links with the homeland and associated identification with the objectives of insurgents operating there are likely to diminish too."  This premise is debated elsewhere.  According to Glazer and Moynihan, this observation has not borne out well in New York, with even long-standing immigrant groups such as the Irish and Italians continuing to identify most strongly through ethnic groupings and interests.  279  More recent  controversies in France have again shown a contradiction in the ability for integration models to break down cultural barriers. Defence of assimilation strategies may be in part due to the benefits accrued to western governments. Even in Canada, moderate assimilation has occurred with the amalgamation of diverse ethnic groups under the larger political units of, for example, Asia, India, or China. The Canadian government has preferred that Sikhs voice concerns through ethno-political organizations such as the National Association of Canadians of Origins in India (NACOI) rather than individual Sikh or Kashmiri entities.  280  Sheffer  notes that this type of forced communalism serves dual purposes for the government. First, the government is better able to monitor and control the activities of diaspora groups in larger groupings, and second, it is much easier to deal with bureaucratic organizations than undisciplined groups and individuals.  281  This has not always served  diasporic interests well. The WSO for one, condemned NACOI for attempting to speak on behalf of Sikhs with little understanding of the true Sikh viewpoint.  282  The Canadian  government did respond to these issues, with the Department of Multiculturalism funding and launching the National Alliance of Canadian Sikhs in 1992.  283  Canadian Sikhs,  however, did not respond well to a representative group set up by government officials. In similar fashion, multicultural rights and cultural recognition often open the door to government grants and funding to maintain those rights. Federal and provincial Byman et al., Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements. 59. Glazer and Moynihan, Beyond the Melting Pot; the Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City. Dusenbery, " A Sikh Diaspora? Contested Identities and Constructed Realities." 33. Sheffer, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad. 66-68. Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 127. Ibid. 133. 2 7 8  2 7 9  2 8 0 281  2 8 2  2 8 3  81 grants have been offered to various community organizations through multicultural programs and, as noted by Gunaratna, "host country organizations will have little hesitation to interact with a diaspora organization that is promoting community interests, providing services and incentives, and caring for the needs of the community."  284  Over  the past two decades, the Canadian government has allocated a number of grants and funding opportunities for ethnic community associations. The Canadian government has been critiqued for its apparent willingness to provide funds for groups involved in violent activities. One of the problems with ethnic funding programs is that it is difficult to clearly distinguish which groups have purely benevolent goals and those that may bring harm to homeland and domestic populations. In the past, the Canadian government has directly funded L T T E front organizations as well as Sikh groups which are now circumscribed under Canada's listed entities. Organizations within the NGO community have also reinforced the organization of ethnic interests along state lines. For example, the Canadian Ethnocultural Council (CEC), a coalition of umbrella groups, which aims to "enhance the cultural heritage of Canadians"  , lists several state-based groups, pan-national and pan-religious, as well as  many recently independent state-based groups, but at this time, there are no stateless diaspora groups represented on the list. Funding limitations and access to government compel many non-profit organizations to amalgamate ethnic interests rather than approaching government ministries with a series of smaller scale requests.  4.2 Immigration and Asylum  Policies  Canada also sets limits on political activism among diaspora groups through its immigration and asylum policies. The mere act of granting asylum is an intensely political act that may serve to create an antagonistic relationship between the receiving and the sending country. It is therefore likely that a "diaspora made up primarily of refugees is, of course, likely to be hostile to the regime of the country from which they  Gunaratna, "Sri Lanka: Feeding the Tamil Tigers." 205. See the Canadian Ethnocultural Council website for more details and a list of member organizations at members.html. 2 8 4  2 8 5  82  fled."  286  Likewise, from the government perspective, "democratic regimes generally  allow their refugees to speak out against the regime of the country of their origin, allow them access to the media, and permit them to send information and money back home in • •  9R7  support of the opposition."  For some scholars, this represents an extreme double  standard and in a sense negates the internationally mandated responsibility to provide safety for those claiming refugee status. Refugees who have been provided with asylum in a "safe" country may still find themselves under threat from coercive and violent activities of the elite and extremist portions of diasporic leadership in host countries. Gunaratna, for one, notes that "it is ironic that a bulk of the war budget of many of these actors is raised from the heartland of continental Europe and North America, the guardians of human rights and the proponents of democracy."  288  It is a concern that the  same human rights norms that allow refugees to escape persecution may later allow them to finance and continue conflicts that have led to their involuntary emigration. Skeptics of liberal asylum regimes point to the fact that "by signing the Geneva Convention, a national government chooses to protect the human rights of foreign individuals regardless of the interests of its own citizens."  289  For Canada, a country that provides relatively  generous asylum benefits, refugees are able to work immediately, move freely about the country, and access social welfare. In comparison to other countries where conditions are more restrictive, the security provided by these benefits may allow Canadian refugees to engage more freely in political activity toward their country of origin. However, the freedom provided can, at times, have negative consequences for the safety of refugees that are compelled to remain part of the war context from a distance. Refugee status in Canada has been protected by the courts, and it is perhaps through the trial of L T T E member and World Tamil Movement (WTM) leader, Manikavasagam Suresh, that international human rights and the robustness of Canada's refugee policy is most clearly demonstrated. It also showed the power of the L T T E 2 8 6  M y r o n Weiner,  The Global Migration Crisis : Challenge to States and to Human Rights  (New  Y o r k : HarperCollins College Publishers, 1995). 138.  International Migration and Security  2 8 7  Myron Weiner,  (Boulder, Colo.: W e s t v i e w Press,  2 8 8  G u n a r a t n a , " I n t e r n a t i o n a l i s a t i o n o f t h e T a m i l C o n f l i c t ( a n d Its I m p l i c a t i o n s ) . " 1 0 9 .  2 8 9  Stephen Gallagher, " T h e O p e n D o o r B e y o n d the Moat: Canadian Refugee Policy  1993).  11.  C o m p a r a t i v e Perspective," in  Canada among Nations 2002: A Fading Power,  M a u r e e n A p p e l M o l o t (Toronto: O x f o r d University Press, 2002). 100.  ed. N o r m a n  from  a  Hillmer  and  83 organization in Canada and the deep communal roots of Tamil identity. Gunaratna notes that "in Canada when the L T T E leader, Suresh, was arrested for extortion and collecting money to procure weapons, the L T T E hired some of the finest lawyers and arranged for western academics who sympathized with their cause to justify before the Canadian court that the L T T E is not a terrorist but a liberation movement."  290  The trial of Suresh became  a media spectacle as Tamil groups condemned action on grounds of political motivation and prejudice against all Tamil-Canadians.  291  Tamil groups have also focused on the fact  that conviction results in deportation to Sri Lanka where Tamils may face persecution from Sinhalese authorities. Organizations such as Amnesty International have pressured governments not to exercise this option. The courts final decision was to rule that in fact Suresh did constitute a threat to public safety in Canada, but he still awaits deportation. In essence, the security threat posed to Canada must be shown to outweigh the risk of torture if the defendant is deported.  292  Why has the Canadian government been unable to uphold Supreme Court decisions and prevent indications of "terrorist" support from within Canada? Stephen Gallagher attributes this reluctance to a two part obstacle that involves the fact that most new Canadians are urban and vote Liberal and that there is a powerful lobby group that emerges from the very lucrative legal institutions in and around immigration and refugee •  293  issues.  Refugees are also protected immediately by Canada's Charter of Rights and  Freedoms. The overall result of Canada's refugee system is to allow refugees to engage in political activity without fear of persecution or deportation. It also makes it problematic for Canada to prosecute ethnic organizations that may contribute to insecurity in the host or homeland state.  Gunaratna, "Internationalisation o f the T a m i l Conflict (and Its Implications)." 126. Information available at Sue Bailey, Court Oks Deportation (The Canadian Press, 2003 [cited September 29 2003]); available from Gallagher, "The Open Door Beyond the Moat: Canadian Refugee Policy from a Comparative Perspective." 2 V U  2 9 1  2 9 2  2 9 3  84  4.3 Intelligence  and  Policing  The preceding types of political incentives and constraints have also extended to the intelligence and policing sectors in Canada. In the post-9/11 period, the Canadian government has taken a more active interest in the political activities of diaspora groups. However, in the past, it has been relatively unsuccessful at distinguishing radical members from more popular concerns. Radical denouncements from a National Post editorial have suggested that "a hunger for Tamil votes has apparently allowed bagmen for a terrorist group and its various front organizations to be given free rein in this country".  294  In more modest tones, Peter Chalk recognizes that "many Western  politicians believe that it is the ethnic or minority vote that makes the difference in an election. As such, they tend to sympathize with the political aspirations and grievances of minorities and ethnic groups living in their constituencies".  295  In another vein, reasons for inaction have been leveled at concerns for Canadian national security and the fact that "host-state policies appear to be guided by the fear that if they target a terrorist group, the group will avenge the host action by establishing links with groups inimical to host-state interest."  296  Fear of retribution may provide one  explanation for Canada's reluctance to adopt a hard-line stance on dangerous diasporic activity. However, the fact that no Tamil group has ever been restricted under Canada's listed entities suggests that the issue is more complex than simple security anxieties.  297  Further restrictions noted by Gunaratna note that western governments have no historical precedent for dealing with such groups and that many of the groups are often opposing governments that violate human rights.  298  Karen Ballentine, Jake Sherman and the  International Peace Academy also recognize the negative repercussions that may emerge "Why Won't Ottawa Ban the Tamil Tigers?," National Post, July 26, 2003. Chalk, "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (Ltte) International Organization and Operations - a Preliminary Analysis." Gunaratna, "Sri Lanka: Feeding the Tamil Tigers." 215. For more information on Canada's listed entities, consult security/counter-terrorisin/Entities e.asp#29. It should also be noted that there are, in effect, two separate lists of terrorist organizations. There is also a list of groups subject to restrictions under the Criminal Code or the UN Suppression of Terrorism Regulations. The L T T E is restricted under these regulations and a complete list can be found at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions supervisory.asp?#Supter. This accounts for much of the ambiguity over which groups are on and which groups are not listed entities. Gunaratna, "Sri Lanka: Feeding the Tamil Tigers." 2 9 4 2 9 5  2 9 6  2 9 7  2 9 8  85 from proscribing political activism. In fact they note that "casting rebellion as a criminal rather than a political phenomenon may risk mischaracterizing legitimate grievances, thereby foreclosing opportunities for negotiated resolution, and may lend de facto legitimacy to state actors, regardless of their behavior and role in the conflict."  299  The  converse may also be true that in permitting political expression, the Canadian government may give a measure of legitimacy for insurgent movements abroad.  4.4 Appealing  to the Ethnic  Vote?  There are two distinct ways of looking at the effects of the ethnic lobby on foreign policy. For cynics, increased ethnic involvement in foreign policy making involves nothing less than the "erosion of national interests" , while for others it serves as a 300  healthy check on the preservation of human rights abroad.  301  The Canadian response  towards politics in Sri Lanka has shown fairly clear evidence that they have been influenced by Tamil groups in Canada. Jennifer Hyndman notes that "Canada's assistance to Sri Lanka is channeled exclusively through NGOs and institutions that can address the political, social, and economic causes of the conflict" and it is the only donor in Sri Lanka that does not fund government ministries or programs directly.  302  She also  notes that CIDA is the fourth largest contributor to programs in Tamil-controlled areas in the north and northeast of Sri Lanka. Similar indications can be seen in regard to Canada's Sikh population. Over and above recommendations from Canadian Immigration and the Indian government, Jean Chretien vowed to a large group of Sikh supporters in Abbotsford that he would facilitate the establishment of a Canadian visa office in the Punjab , and his visit in 2003 to the Golden Temple in Amritsar coincided 303  2 W  Karen Ballentine, Jake Sherman, and International Peace Academy., The Political Economy of  Armed Conflict: Beyond Greed and Grievance (Boulder, Co.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2 0 0 3 ) .  Huntington. Yossi Shain, "Ethnic Diasporas and U.S. Foreign Policy.," in Political Science Quarterly (Academy of Political Science, 1994). Hyndman, "Aid, Conflict and Migration: The Canada-Sri Lanka Connection." 12. She notes that due to human rights abuses on both sides of the conflict, CIDA and the Canadian government have chosen not to fund government budgets. Campbell Clark, "Pm Promised Visa Office for Punjab Despite Advice: Officials Warned of Security Risks, Costs as Chretien Campaigned for Sikh Support," Globe and Mail 2 0 0 3 . 3 0 0  3 0 1  3 0 2  303  86 with the biggest Sikh holiday.  304  Holsti, however, suggests that the Sikh lobby is perhaps  more constrained than that of the Tamils and argues that "since the Canadian Sikh community is by no means united on the goal of an independent Khalistan, and since there are more Hindu Indians in Canada than Sikhs, the government could hardly adopt the position of a minority within a minority."  305  Holsti also notes that Canadian foreign relations play a role in determining the influence of ethnic lobbies. He notes that "in terms of the kinds of issues which ethnic groups have at least potential influence, Canada's bilateral relations with particular countries and questions of human rights within those countries are the most notable."  306  The fact that the Tamil lobby has been moderately more successful than the Sikhs may largely be in response to the host country - homeland state political connection. Relationships at the official level represent what Robert Putnam has labeled a "two-level game" as states seek to balance domestic priorities with international relations.  307  Because of the complex diplomatic activities and the powerful position of India within the international system, Canada may be more reluctant to pressure Indian authorities to reform. As well, Canada is host to a large number of non-Sikh "Indian" immigrants, and it is a matter of balancing priorities among diverse constituencies. Government decisions, and possibly electoral considerations as well, have affected the criminalization of certain ethnic organizations. For years, the L T T E remained in a state of limbo on designated lists of terrorist groups, and even in the post9/1 1 period, Wayland notes that the "the Canadian government's assessment of the L T T E is somewhat ambiguous."  308  Canadian authorities have, in contrast, placed organizations  such as Babbar Khalsa and the ISYF on the list. What explains this contradictory behaviour? It is difficult to explain the motivations that led to this decision, but four possibilities can be raised. First, Sikh groups have received attention for numerous Alexander Panetta, "In India, Chretien Celebrates Invigorating 10th Anniversary of Election as Pm," Canadian Press Newswire, October 25 2003. Holsti, "Ethnicity and Canadian Foreign Policy." 144. Ibid. 149. Robert D. Putnam, "Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games.," in International Organization (Cambridge University Press / U K , 1988). Wayland, "Ethnonationalist Networks and Transnational Opportunities: The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora." The author notes that the LTTE's assets have been frozen under the United Nations Suppression of Terrorism Regulations in Canada, but that the L T T E is not proscribed under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act (Bill C-36) of December 2001. 3 0 4  3 0 5  3 0 6  3 0 7  3 0 8  87 violent events in Canada that include the Air India bombing,  309  the unsolved murder of  moderate Sikh publisher Tara Singh Hayer in Vancouver, and the attempted 310  assassination of an Indian cabinet minister on Vancouver Island in 1987.  311  On the other  hand, Tamil groups have not openly targeted Canadian citizens. There may be, then, increased public pressure to limit the activities of Sikh groups. This argument breaks down slightly with the increased violence between rival Tamil groups in Toronto.  312  Second, the L T T E is the recognized and principal spokesperson for the Tamil diaspora. Former Foreign Minister Bill Graham, has repeatedly cited threats to the Sri Lankan peace process as the major reason for not placing the L T T E on a list of terrorist *  313  organizations.  Third, with voting patterns in mind, Tamils have no other organization  through which to channel their interests or procure community benefits. Canadian-Sikhs on the other hand, have a number of organizations that represent diasporic interests and gurdwaras provide community services. Fourth, Canada's decision to ban two prominent Sikh groups may stem from the applied pressure of the Indian government. Canada receives fewer political incentives by capitulating to Sri Lankan government interests.  Again it should be noted that the view put forth by Kashmeri and McAndrew brings a different viewpoint to the nature of Sikh involvement in the Air India affair. Chris Wood, John Nicol, and Jennifer Hunter, "Publish and Be Damned: The Sikh Media Are Lively, Often Controversial and Sometimes Dangerous," Maclean's, Feb 21 2000. 26. Peter Hadzipetros, In Depth: Air India, Sikh Militancy [Website] (CBC News, August 27 2003 [cited October 29 2004]); available from See among other media articles Stewart Bell, "Sri Lankan Gangster Gets to Stay," National Post 2004. And Bell, Cold Terror: How Canada Nurtures and Exports Terrorism around the World. It should also be noted that Bill Graham's local riding, Toronto Central, contains one of the largest immigrant populations in Canada. 3 1 0  3 , 1  3 1 2  3 1 3  88  Chapter 5 - Conclusions and Policy Implications Based on the preceding case studies on Sikh and Tamil diasporas in Canada, four general observations can be made about stateless diasporas situated in liberal democratic states. The first is that diasporas represent an important dynamic in the study of international relations, and their historical longevity demonstrates that they are neither new nor apt to be a temporary phenomenon. The fact that they have not been a principal focus in past scholarship means that more attention should be given to the incorporation of diasporas into traditional international relations theory and comparative politics. As noted by James Rosenau, it seems inconceivable that theorists will "not have to make a place for them in their analytical frameworks."  314  As well, diasporas represent an  important element in the formation of national foreign policies. In a world where international migration is expanding rapidly and "new" modes of warfare continue to drive civilian populations from their traditional homelands, the relevance of diasporas is likely to increase further in the future. Second, the study shows that stateless diasporas possess a number of similarities in their identity construction and political activity, which is often different from diasporic identity and behaviour that emerges in state-based diasporas. It confirms studies that claim that there will be higher levels of political organization among those diasporas that are not tied to a recognized state entity.  315  It also demonstrates, however, that the type of  identity created in regard to the homeland and political activity is more complex than much of the literature acknowledges. The Sikh and Tamil diasporas exhibit a number of different attributes at the structural level in terms of immigration status and history, social This aspect can be applied more generally to incorporate other transnational organizations into international relations theory. Although numerous works have detailed the prevalence of transnational advocacy campaigns and business networks, there is also space to develop the implications of transnational organized crime syndicates such as the Russian and Italian mafias and Colombian drug rings. There are some important exceptions to the stateless diaspora argument as evidenced by sustained diasporic political activity in groups such as the Cubans and Greeks. The Cuban case is different, however, largely because their goals have aligned so closely with U.S. national objectives and ideology. Host state-support for stateless diasporas is unlikely to occur due to the importance placed on state sovereignty and an unwillingness to set precedents for separatist movements. The Greeks, although a statebased diaspora, demonstrate the important connections between identity and territory. Diasporic political activity has risen in accordance with fundamental territorial issues such as conflict in Cyprus. It is often the case that diasporas, in general, are motivated to act when homeland territory, a cultural marker for the diaspora, is threatened. 3 1 4  3 1 5  89 position in Canada, emigration factors, and generational disparity. However, despite these differences, identity (re)construction and attachment to the homeland has followed a very similar pattern. As well, the goals and aspirations of large segments of the diaspora in regard to the homeland territory have been stated with similar rhetoric. With some cross-referencing to other stateless diasporas such as the Kurds, the Kashmiris, and the Croats, it appears that even long-standing immigrant groups actively mobilize around homeland, territorial concerns. Pushing the conclusion further, it is imperative to ask why it is that stateless diasporas are more likely to engage in long-term diasporic political activity than confrontational relationships based exclusively on religion, ideology, or economics. It is in this comparison that the links between territory and identity are most important. In contrast to religion and ideology that have the capacity to transgress political boundaries, territorial claims are generally immutable and unchangeable. They are rooted in a particular geographical context, often with essential claims to ancestry, history, and primordial ties. Anthony Smith claims that establishing claims to a physical territory is one of the principal building blocks towards a recognized national consciousness and that without it, the project is unlikely to succeed. Rarely are there cases where religion, ideology, or economic preferences coincide with homogenous claims of ethnicity.  316  For  the most part, diasporic claims for religious and ideological reasons are part of larger pan-national associations that allow groups to express common aims. In some instances, religious or ideological identifiers coincide with territorial claims, but they are unlikely to sustain political movements over time in isolation from territorial ambitions. Economic preferences, on the other hand, usually contain sub-national aspirations tied more closely to individualistic and particularistic interests. The common factor uniting the political aims of ethno-national, stateless groups is the communal association with a defined territory. This relationship fosters cohesiveness among a group that cannot be expanded pan-nationally or broken down along individual preferences.  For example, in many immigrant societies there has been an upsurge in politically active Islamic groups. The difference, however, is that there are also a set of sub-group loyalties that attract political resources. These may include, for instance, language campaigns, gender issues, Arab ethnicity, and nationalist movements, as evidenced by groups such as the Acehnese, Palestinians, and Kashmiris. 3 1 6  90 The Sikh case, then, brings interesting complexity to the argument; it is at once both a religious and national movement. For this reason, it is essential to bring in the host state context as one of the principal motivators for the type of diasporic identity that unfolds. It is not the case that claims for Sikh recognition have been the same in all liberal democracies. In separate publications, both Oberoi and Dusenbery have aptly brought attention to the choice of Sikhs in Canada to emphasize national claims over those of Sikhism as a world religion. Similar trends are prevalent in the Tamil case. Tamils are often excluded in Sri Lanka on the grounds of not conforming to the dominant Buddhist religion. However, in Canada, the basis for political action has primarily focused on nationalist claims and appeals for Tamil autonomy. There are, however, substantial differences in the ways that stateless diasporas attempt to achieve goals and the way in which groups act politically within the domestic and international spheres. It becomes evident that there is no one model that depicts the type of political activity that flows from diasporic organizations. Although the T A N theory of transnational behaviour comes quite close to representing the type of transnational activity displayed by diaspora organizations, it appears to be highly case specific and dependent on a number of factors that may include internal capacity for direct political action, state-to-state political relations between the host and homeland country, and an alignment with recognized international norms. Modifications to the T A N model of political activity that factor in the host state political environment and identity constructions, provide some coherence to diasporic trans-state politics. The conceptual model also helps to predict where certain diasporas will face obstacles and resort to alternative avenues for political mobilization and access. The two case studies have shown that although political behaviour and identity is multifaceted, there remains a strong emotional attachment to the land of origin, one that runs much deeper than the popular media accounts that portray diasporic political action as the sole reserve of select fundamentalists. The fact that diaspora groups do, at times, contribute to terrorism or help to sustain conflict that has the capacity to kill and injure civilians must be taken seriously. However, there are a set of underlying attachments to the homeland that are common among the general, non-violent diaspora population. The case studies confirm, as writers such as Sheffer and Smith contend, that identity  91 construction is a mixture of primordial, instrumental, and constructed attributes. Because of this, it seems plausible to conclude that the Tamil diaspora, headed by the L T T E is not in fact unique in comparison to other stateless diasporas. It certainly displays unique methods and tactics but the base foundations that determine diaspora identity in a host country are not specifically different to other collective groups fighting for independence and recognition. Third, the case studies demonstrate that the gap between international and domestic politics is increasingly closing. Events that occur abroad have substantial repercussions for what happens inside domestic borders, and policies undertaken in the domestic sphere also have consequences for conditions abroad. An example of merging political fields is provided by Eva 0stergaard-Nielsen, who remarks that multicultural policies in the Netherlands that permit the organization of Kurdish separatists has become the object of international bilateral negotiations between the Netherlands and Turkey.  317  In this case study, Sikh political activism in Canada brought Indian intelligence agents to Canada and strained relationships between Ottawa and Delhi. In the realm of foreign policy, there is also an increased motivation to represent the interests of ethnic constituencies, and for diasporas, their efficacy is dependent on a type of two-level game that occurs within domestic politics and external relations with state authorities in the homeland. Connections also exist between asylum and refugee policies, electoral politics, and intelligence/policing in the host state and the subsequent effects that occur abroad as a result of those policies. Fourth, the host state political environment is an important element in defining diasporic identity and political mobilization. As evidenced through the two case studies, Canadian multicultural policies have a perceived impact on stateless diasporas. Without a state to call their own, both groups face obstacles in obtaining cultural recognition that is uniquely applicable to Sikh or Tamil ethnicity. By placing emphasis on cultural diversity and distinct cultures, Canada has highlighted the importance of group and collective identity, much of it based on national origins. In its extreme, both groups have been positioned in Canadian society as "South Asians", Sikhs have been categorized as "East Indians" or "Canadians of National Origins in India", and Tamils have been labeled  3 1 7  Ostergaard-Nielsen, "Diasporas in World Politics."  92  "Sri Lankans". In research on Canadian Croatian communities, Winland observes that "the process of negotiating Croatian identities in Canada's multicultural Canada is multifaceted, one characterized, for example, by sentiments ranging from unbridled enthusiasm to unreserved disdain for multicultural ideals."  318  She continues to note that  younger Croatian Canadians have sought to restore ties with the homeland under threat of becoming just another one of Canada's ethnic groups subsumed under the pluralism banner.  319  In many ways, multiculturalism policies soften difficulties of adjustment by encouraging diaspora populations to continue traditional practices, build on an identity that may have been repressed in the homeland, and organize politically to resolve contentious issues with homeland governments. On the other hand, multiculturalism emphasizes group identity, "national" origins, and symbolic markers such as dress, skin colour, and religion. Rather than emphasizing merit-based individual recognition , it prioritizes the community and ancestral heritage. Multiculturalism also has a tendency to group several distinct ethno-national groups under a larger banner, or to break down into smaller units, groups that may have found common ground on a larger scale. This communal sense of identity promoted through multicultural policies contrasts quite starkly with Canada's adherence to individual liberalism. Reginald Bibby notes specifically the contradictions between the often competing philosophies of multiculturalism and liberalism: When a country like Canada enshrines pluralism through policies such as multiculturalism and bilingualism and the guaranteeing of individual rights, the outcome is coexistence - no more, no less. It's a good start in building a society out of diverse peoples. But there's a danger ... rather than coexistence being the foundation that enables a diverse nation to pursue the best kind of existence possible, coexistence degenerates into a national preoccupation. Pluralism ceases to have a cause. The result: mosaic T.90  madness.  Winland, '"Our Home and Native Land'? Canadian Ethnic Scholarship and the Challenge of Transnationalism." 560. Z  I  b  i  d  -  Reginald Bibby quoted in Abu-Laban and Stasiulis, "Ethnic Pluralism under Siege: Popular and Partisan Opposition to Multiculturalism." 369.  93 6.1 Comparisons  and  Relevance  As noted earlier, and most clearly elucidated by Yossi Shain, the type of political action engaged in by diasporas can be related to identity retention, leadership struggles, bureaucratic interests, and political and social status in the host country. ' This 32  framework works well to establish some of the major differences between the Sikh and Tamil diasporas in Canada. Both communities are interested in communal survival and hence engage in political activism to both promote and protect an identity that is not recognized internationally by state sovereignty. This has increased the ability to motivate members of the diaspora to participate in the communal defence of homeland territory. Because the homeland territory is contested in both cases, the struggle has been both long-term and highly politicized. The methods for transnational political activity have been different, and this is largely a result of the last three factors. Leadership struggles over the transnational ethnic community materialize most strongly in the Sikh case study. Sikh communities in India and the Punjab have often pushed for political reform that ensures stronger political representation and linguistic/cultural rights in India. Competing for ethnic leadership, many factions in the diaspora have campaigned more energetically for Sikh independence and nation-state status. Because there are a number of viewpoints emanating from the Sikh diaspora, the conflictual relationship with India's central government is more complex. Sikh diasporic organizations work along a spectrum of moderate to radical responses to perceived recognition and repression of Sikh citizens in the Punjab and in the diaspora. This may have reduced the Sikh diaspora's capacity for direct political action in the homeland and contributed to the motivations to work indirectly through national governments and international organizations. Parallel leadership structures in both the homeland and the diaspora have given the L T T E the power to operate more directly in the conflict setting and its negotiation. As well, the strength of the L T T E has largely repelled competing bureaucratic interests emerging from more moderate factions in the diaspora. Part of the ruthlessness involved in L T T E operations may be equated with a bureaucratic interest to preserve the organization. As mentioned by Shain, "since the threat to the homeland is a powerful 3 2 1  Shain, "The Role of Diasporas in Conflict Perpetuation or Resolution."  94 tool to mobilize diaspora community members to fund diaspora organizations and engage 322  in political activity in the host state, peace itself can threaten diasporic identity."  The  L T T E exists because of the conflict in Sri Lanka. Peaceful resolution of hostilities may signal the end of the L T T E as a political organization, and thus its representation of the Tamil diaspora. There have also been differences in regard to the political and social status of Sikh and Tamil communities in Canada. Constituting a lengthier presence in Canada, Sikh communities face differential generational concerns and have become more involved in domestic political struggles. At times, they have faced larger group prejudices directed at "Asian" immigrants, and at other times, symbols such as the turban have sought to isolate the Sikh community as more violent than other "East Indians". Despite the fact that Tamils are officially designated as Sri Lankan immigrants and refugees, that label is synonymous with Tamil culture because of the under-representation of Sinhalese citizens in Canada. This may have changed the type of political concerns in Canada but it has not altered international perceptions of a Tamil state nor of the standard pathways for diplomatic relations between countries and the Sri Lankan government. Shain observes that "while kinship identity can be negotiated between homeland and the diaspora, the structure of modern international relations gives the prerogative of constituting, elaborating, and implementing the national interest to the state."  323  It is this fundamental  claim that brings the political motivations of stateless diasporas close together in the international system, and makes their increased relevance worthy of future study. Despite the differences in modes of transnational political activity it is this underlying identity retention and survival that motivates stateless diasporas to engage in protracted political activism from the host country. Moving outside of the two case studies, the study provides a base from which larger generalizations can be drawn. Several surveys have shown high levels of support among other stateless diasporas, and in Canada, actions undertaken by Armenian, Croatian, and Kurdish groups demonstrate the powerful motivations behind independence movements and international recognition. The example of the Sikh diaspora also shows Ibid. 129. Ibid. 119.  95 that even long-standing immigrant communities can be motivated to take political action when homeland conditions change. For this reason, interest in homeland affairs is unlikely to subside. Large-scale political change, as has recently occurred in the former Soviet Union, has profound impacts on communities living abroad and crises can motivate diasporas to (re)emerge as political actors. Canada is also not unique in hosting highly political diaspora populations. Most western democratic states host concentrated immigrant populations and allow political expression that challenges homeland state authorities. As a "settler" society, Canada maintains similarities with the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, as well as with newer immigrant-receiving states in western Europe. However, Canada also maintains a set of official policies that distinguish it and make it amenable to diaspora politics. First, Canada promotes an official multiculturalism that privileges group identity. Constitutional protection for French customs, language, society and cultural preservation further reinforces official declarations for pluralism in Canadian society. Second, Canada operates one of the most liberal refugee institutions in the western world. By accepting refugees from more states than other western countries, providing them with a dense set of social benefits, and preventing many deportation orders through the courts, Canada solidifies the social standing of refugees and permits the space to express political concerns. In contrast, a regime such as exists in Britain maintains lower acceptance rates, dispersal accommodation, and lower social services, and thus reduces the capacity for ethnic organization and the security to express communal concerns. Third, Canada's foreign policy is not always tied to self-interest and reciprocal benefits, and has often emphasized a human security approach to international conflict. A predilection to work through multilateral institutions presents additional opportunities for diasporic interests to reach the international agenda. The fact that several government agencies, such as CIDA and the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), maintain independence from the central government provides ethnic groups with multiple focal points to express diasporic interests. A n active N G O community also allows for domestic alliances and increased capacity to reach international agendas and national governments.  96  6.2 Policy  Implications  Based on the findings in this thesis, there are several important implications for host state governments. The first is to recognize that stateless diaspora groups often maintain more complex identity associations with the homeland than those based exclusively on religion, ideology, economics, or to those that retain a diasporic relationship with homeland state authorities. Host governments should be aware that because of the sometimes intractable nature of territorial claims and ambitions, stateless diasporas may be more risk acceptant to radical endeavors and confrontational means of action. At times, this may be directly tied to their social position in the host country. It is especially important for countries with institutionalized multicultural policies to understand from where ethnic groups draw ancestral claims and cultural heritage. If it is from contested homelands, multicultural policies may fail to provide the necessary security to ensure the survival of communal identities. The simple solution to this issue is problematic. It is improbable that the Canadian government has the resources or the desire to deal with each and every diasporic concern with regard to their respective homelands. However, it may not be in the government's best interest to pressure groups to lobby political concerns under larger umbrella groups that are insensitive to diverse ethnic interests. In similar vein, host country governments need to predict the impact of changing homeland conditions. Insurgency movements or autonomy claims in the homeland may alter the identity perceptions of those living abroad and encourage diasporic political activity. This may even be the case for long-standing communities that have not previously engaged in contentious political activity. As well, the political freedom experienced in liberal host countries may foster the type of dialogue and discourse that leads to identity changes with regard to the homeland. By many accounts the Armenian diaspora for years, sustained independence claims and historical recognition of the Armenian genocide from outside the homeland territory. This also works in reverse - stateless groups who have gained autonomy in the homeland may cease to take part in confrontational political activity aimed at disrupting conditions in the homeland. An example of this is the East Timorese diaspora after its successful independence bid from Indonesia.  97 Despite the difficulties of reacting to all minority groups and claims in the host country, federal and provincial authorities have an interest in examining the interconnections between domestic and foreign policies. Canada, in all likelihood, due to the independent Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), and a robust network of proimmigration lobby groups, will continue to administer a liberal asylum regime. Because of this, Canada may become host to a larger diversity of refugee populations than many other western nations. The equilibrium, then, between international diplomacy with state authorities and respect for the populations for which Canada has given "refuge" becomes an intricate and complex balancing act. Canada's international activities abroad may have direct consequences for political activity among its ethnic communities and diasporic associations. For instance, increased trade agreements with a state seen as hostile to diaspora organizations may result in confrontational action directed at the Canadian government. As well, international support on one side of a conflict may have substantial repercussions inside Canada. Likewise, domestic policies have the capacity to influence events at the international level. The political act of granting asylum to large numbers of refugees affects the relationship between the host country and the sending state. Diplomacy between Canada and Sri Lanka has increasingly become strained - to the point where official government lending does not go directly to the Sri Lankan government. As detailed by Kashmeri and McAndrew, the infiltration of Indian intelligence into embassies in Canada had disastrous consequences for Canadian security. There is little doubt that Canadian authorities take these important interconnections into account, however, as shown in this study, identity constructions develop through a complex mix of homeland and host country conditions. Policy analysis, therefore, requires an adept understanding of both domestic and international influences and an appreciation of how they might affect diasporic interests. Based on these complex interconnections between foreign policy and domestic politics, Canada may benefit from greater coordination among its international agencies. At present, the inability of DFAIT, DND, and CIDA to achieve joint goals, internationally, threatens to distort or confuse Canadian foreign policy objectives. Increased capacity to work coherently in international missions can have positive effects  98 both at home and on the ground. For example, current Canadian aid programs in Sri Lanka bypass Sri Lanka's central administration, but diplomatic negotiations go through Colombo. Although it is a controversial tender to overlap humanitarian and diplomatic objectives, especially when security forces are involved, current efforts continue to be ineffective at securing lasting peace. As well, foreign aid may, at times, have the unintended effect of supporting the continuation of conflict and providing rebel groups with much-needed resources to supply the war effort. The balance between coherence and maintaining humanitarian impartiality will continue to be a delicate issue for national governments, but some reconciliation may help to send a more consistent message to interested parties. Despite Canada's liberal, humanitarian rhetoric on international intervention, diplomacy, and foreign aid, Canada also maintains self-interested reasons to pursue conflict negotiation abroad. For example, the Canadian government could benefit greatly from the peaceful resolution of conflict in Sri Lanka and the Punjab.  324  Despite the fact  that Canada is not perceived as neutral to the conflict in Sri Lanka, and perhaps the Punjab as well, it is host to major 'stakeholders' in both conflicts. As detailed in this study, both the Tamil and Sikh diasporas are involved directly and indirectly in conflict in their respective homelands. A failure to take these 'stakeholders' into account can have disastrous consequences for peace negotiations and peace settlements. It may also overlook the possible positive impacts a diaspora can bring to reconstruction efforts through financial assistance, technical expertise, and return migration. Due to its lack of impartiality, it is contentious for Canada to become involved in Sri Lanka's peace negotiations. There is a need, however, to factor in Canadian-Tamil interests in the settlement and to predict reactions to any concrete solutions. The sensitivity surrounding such issues creates a difficult situation for Canadian policy-makers and for Canada's relationship with the Sri Lankan government and with Norway as mediator. In some instances, diasporas act as "spoilers" in the peace process. This is especially the case for rebel groups, such as the L T T E , which may benefit from a continuation of conflict. As well, evidence in this study shows that there is a tendency As recently as September, 2004, Tamil student activists in Toronto organized rallies to request Canadian involvement in the peace process. The Canadian government has offered technical support for federalist solutions to conflict in Sri Lanka, but has not been involved directly in peace talks. 3 2 4  99 for diasporas to maintain a more hard-line stance towards conflict resolution and are less amenable to compromise. The interests of the diaspora in various host countries may be also be different, especially when there is a desire to impede the peace process. Increased cooperation among host states could provide benefits to several international peace negotiations where diasporas remain politically active. Likewise, it is doubtful that unilateral host country initiatives have the capacity to curtail negative diasporic activity. Multilateral efforts may prove more effective. For example, international agreements, such as the U N Suppression of Terrorism Regulations have created a level playing field in which national governments report financial contributions emerging from proscribed "terrorist" organizations. On a similar note, diaspora groups maintain intricate -IT r  worldwide networks for political action.  Traditional country-based approaches to  official policy are bound to be ineffective in dealing with sophisticated insurgency groups that work cross-nationally, internationally and through a diverse set of activities. In order to facilitate a more constructive relationship between diasporas and host states, a combination of Track One and Track Two approaches could prove most effective for international diplomacy. Based on the findings in this study, diaspora organizations do act independently within the international system and maintain a number of political avenues to exert influence. A host country such as Canada may be incapable of preventing forms of political activity that run counter to national goals. For this reason, it is far-sighted to recognize that a) diaspora groups are diplomatic actors in their own right, and b) diasporas have the capacity to engage in constructive activities. In the first case, diasporas take part in political activity internationally, and can bring international attention to atrocities and repression carried out by state authorities. As demonstrated by the T A N model, when efforts are blocked at the national level, diaspora networks have the opportunity to pressure for reform from outside. Secondly, diasporas may represent an essential component of interests in the peace process, possess the skills needed to assist in reconstruction efforts, and the finances to contribute to development activities. Despite the sometimes unconstructive effects on conflict, diasporas can be an integral part of peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction projects. The international connections between diasporic activities were not a major component of this study. For more on this see, Byman, Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements. As well, John Arquilla and David F. Ronfeldt, Networks andNetwars (Santa Monica, C A : Rand, 2001).  100 This thesis has demonstrated that Canadian Sikh and Tamil diasporas are important actors in the politics of the Punjab and Sri Lanka. This is in large part due to continued identity referencing to the homeland. Host country governments, such as Canada, play a mediating role in defining a political relationship toward the homeland as well as setting the parameters around which diaspora identity complexes are (re)constructed. Darshan Singh Tatla notes that future developments in the Punjabi diaspora will be dependent on the sense of security in various host states and events in the homeland. He believes that the fact that "both of these factors are beyond the diaspora's control points towards the dilemma of a diaspora's ambivalent attitudes and loyalties."  326  As has been established in this thesis, diasporas are also active contributors to political conditions in both host countries and in the homeland. Within the "triadic" relationship between the diaspora, host country, and homeland, then, there are a large set of influential arrows that run multi-directionally. All actors in this relationship receive benefits from more positive working relationships and thus an understanding of the motivations that drive political behaviour. The policy options are intricate, especially due to the multiplicity of actors involved in diaspora politics, however, an acknowledgement and understanding of the complex identity associations and political activity among diaspora populations, is essential to future progress.  Tatla, The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood. 2 1 1 .  101  Appendix  A : Population  Statistics  Table 2: Language Profile - Tamil and Punjabi Speakers in Canada, 2001 327  Punjabi Tamil  Canada 271,220 92,010  Canadian % Toronto 0.9 95,945 0.3 72,715  Vancouver 87,760 2,065  Table 3: Canadians By Ethnic Origin, 2001328  Punjabi Tamil Sinhalese Sri Lankan East Indian South Asian  Canada 47,155 39,075 3,560 61,315 713,330 963,190  Toronto 20,480 33,145 1,970 45,240 345,855 504,005  Vancouver 11,965 975 345 2,025 142,060 163,340  Note: Statistics for Toronto and Vancouver represent the Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA), for both Greater Toronto and Vancouver. The language results are based the first official language spoken and are not collected directly from respondents. They are derived from the three language variables on the questionnaire: knowledge of official languages, mother tongue, and home language. Data for ethnic origin refers to the ethnic or cultural group to which the respondent's ancestors belong. The instructions state that this category should not be confused with citizenship or nationality. The format changed from a mark-in format in 1991 to open-ended questions in 1996 and 2001. As noted by Sarah Wayland, it is extremely difficult to estimate the size of diaspora groups in host countries due to distrust of government surveys and a reliance on self-identification.  Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census Data - available from http://www /products/standard/themes/. Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census Data - available from http://www /products/standard/themes/. 328  102  Appendix B: Sikh and Tamil Diasporic  Organizations  Table 4: Major Diasporic Sikh Organizations in Canada, 1981 Present  Organization  Year  Centre  Political Objectives  International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)  1984-  Vancouver, Toronto  World Sikh Organization (WSO)  1984-  Edmonton, Vancouver  National Council of Khalistan  1986-  Vancouver  • Constitution emphasizes an active struggle for an independent Sikh state • Organization run largely through local gurdwaras • Membership estimated at a height of 20,000 members, but has lost substantial membership because of factional fighting • Umbrella organization stressing Sikh right to selfdetermination • Emphasizes the use of peaceful means • Has also taken on issues related to domestic affairs in Canada and the U.S. • Membership estimated at 16,000 in 1987 • Devoted to Sikh freedom and the establishment of an independent state of Khalistan • Has campaigned to the United Nations and worked with U.S. Congress members  Listed Entity June 18, 2003  Leadership Founder Harpal Singh Post-1988Satinder Pal Singh  No  WSO-U.S. Ganga Singh Dillon  No  Dr. Gurmeet Singh Aulakh and associates  103 Babbar Khalsa International  1981-  Vancouver, Toronto  • Strongly supports an independent Sikh state • Has focused claims on Sikh orthodoxy • Party split in two after the death of leader Talwinder Sing Parmar  June 18, 2003  Talwinder Singh Parmar Post-1992 Talwinder group led by Ajaib Singh Bagri and main group led by Gurdev Singh  Table 5: Major Diasporic Tamil Organizations in Canada, 1972 Present  Organization  Year  Centre  Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)  Sri Lanka: 1972Canada: 1983-  Toronto  Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT)  1993-  Toronto, Ottawa  Political Objectives • Achieving political independence for the state of Tamil Eelam • Maintaining the military capacity to counter Sri Lankan forces in the civil conflict • Umbrella organization of pro-secession Tamil groups in Canada • Goal is to coordinate and provide the Canadian government with a unified Tamil voice  Listed Entity No  No  Leadership Sri Lanka Velupillai Prabhakaran  Representative of ten Tamil groups, alleged front organization for the L T T E  104 Tamil Eelam Society of Canadian Tamils (TESOC)  1977-  Toronto  World Tamil Movement (WTM)  1986-  Toronto, Montreal  Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC)  2000-  Toronto, Ottawa and Canadawide  Tamil Eelam Economic Development Organisation (TEEDOR)  1985-  Toronto  • Initially established to gather information about the situation in Sri Lanka and draw attention to national governments • Organization has subsequently been taken over by political refugees • Inform the Tamil community about the political situation in Sri Lanka • Generates appeals to the Canadian government on behalf of Tamil migrants and in regard to Canada's foreign policy in Sri Lanka • Supports socioeconomic development, rehabilitation and reconstruction in northeastern Sri Lanka  No  Alleged front organization for the L T T E  No  Manickavasagam Suresh  No  Multiple  No  Board of Directors  Note: The descriptions of major Sikh and Tamil organizations are compiled from the organizations' official statements and websites, relevant literature, and the researcher's own insights. Darshan Singh Tatla's book The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood, provides a detailed account of major Sikh groups in the United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S.  105  Appendix C - Conflict in the Punjab - Major Events and Timeline 329  Date  Event  1924  Passage of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act enacted to gain control of the Sikh temples from government control and Hindu priests. The result was that the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), became a de facto parliament for Sikh concerns in India.  1947  Partition of the Punjab with the western part becoming Pakistan Punjab and the eastern part becoming India Punjab.  1966  The Akali Dal political party successfully campaign for a Sikh majority state as the Punjab is separated into the two states of Punjab and Haryana.  1973  Akali Dal passes the Anandpur Sahib Resolution - demanding decentralization of Indian affairs, greater Punjab autonomy, and a call for independence according to some observers.  October 1983  State of emergency proclaimed in the Punjab and President's rule imposed.  June 1984  Operation Blue Star - prominent Sikh extremist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and supporters killed in military assault on Golden Temple in Amritsar - Sikhs' most holy shrine. Official sources put the total killed at 1,000, however, unofficial estimates were much higher.  June 1984  Khalistani activist Chauhan calls for the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on national British television.  October 1984  Prime Minister Indira Gandhi assassinated by Sikh bodyguards, and son Rajiv Gandhi takes over.  June 22, 1985  Air India flight 182 is blown up off the coast of Ireland. 329 people killed - the majority of which were Canadian citizens.  July, 1985  Peace agreement signed between the Indian government and moderate Akali Dal Sikhs led by Harchand Singh Longowal. Sikh extremists unsatisfied with the compromise.  August 1985  Leader of Punjab's Shiromani Akali Dal, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal shot dead at Gurdwara Akal Prakash at Sherpur in Punjab. Militant Sikh Gian Singh was tried and convicted of the assassination and sentenced to death.  Several sources were helpful in compiling this timeline including, Assessment for Sikhs in India (Minorities at Risk, 2004 [cited October 30 2004]); available from And  106 May 1987  Imposition of President's rule and the use of more coercive tactics to fight "terrorism" in the Punjab. Previous Terrorist Acts are enforced rigorously and counter-insurgency squads utilized to infiltrate and terminate terrorist factions.  July, 1988  Operation Black Thunder initiated by the Indian government to clear "terrorists" from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. At least 40 extremists and several police officers were killed in this battle.  February, 1992  President's Rule brought to an end following elections, which were won by Congress. These elections had been boycotted by the Akali Dal and voter turnout was estimated at 22%.  August 1995  December, 1996  Punjab's Chief Minister Beant Singh killed in a bomb explosion in state capital Chandigarh suspected to have been set off by Sikh separatists. Babbar Khalsa claimed responsibility for the attack. Political representatives inform the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance that the Sikhs face religious persecution from Indian authorities.  107  Appendix D - Conflict in Sri Lanka - Major Events and Timeline 330  Date  Event  1948  Ceylon gains full independence. The Ceylon Citizenship Act denies citizenship to a large number of "Indian" Tamils.  1956  Solomon Bandaranaike elected with strong Sinhalese nationalist sentiment. Introduces "Sinhala-only" policies to remove the Tamil language from public forums. Communal violence kills an estimated 150 people, mostly Tamils.  1971  Sinhalese Marxist uprising led mostly by students.  1972  Ceylon changed to Sri Lanka and Buddhism declared the official religion.  1976  L T T E formed as tensions increase between the northern Tamils and southern Sinhalese.  1977  A l l seats in Tamil areas won by separatist party Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF).  1983  Several hundred Tamils killed in anti-Tamil riots in southern Sri Lanka. Fighting intensifies between the L T T E and Sri Lankan army. Violence creates refugee movement from south to north and to Tamil Nadu province in India.  1987  L T T E forces are pushed back to Jaffna and an agreement is signed to allow for Indian peacekeepers to enter Sri Lanka.  1990  Indian peacekeeping forces withdraw after heavy casualties in the north.  1991  Assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi - L T T E believed responsible.  1993  Sri Lankan President Premadasa killed in L T T E bomb attack.  1994  President Kumaratunga comes to power with the goal of a peaceful settlement to the conflict.  1995  Peace talks collapse. Government escalates military activities in the north.  1996  State of emergency declared as L T T E bombs capital, Colombo.  330 ,  Much of this information is compiled from B B C and the International Institute of Strategic Studies. For more see, Timeline: Sri Lanka (UK Edition) (BBC News, 2004 [cited October 2004]); available from 166237.stm. And for a more detailed version, see, Armed Conflict Database [Conflict Database] (The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2004 [cited October 2004]); available from  108  1998  L T T E bombs Sri Lanka's holiest Buddhist site. L T T E captures more towns in the northeast.  1999  President Kumaratunga injured in L T T E assassination attempt. Re-elected as president.  February 2000  Norway offers to act as mediator in the conflict.  April 2000  L T T E battles to secure the strategic Elephant Pass in northern Sri Lanka.  July 2001  Suicide attack by L T T E on Colombo's international airport kills 14.  October 2001 November 2001 February 2002  President Kumaratunga dissolves parliament shortly before a no-confidence vote which her party seemed likely to lose. L T T E leader Prabhakaran claims that the Tamils desire neither separatism nor terrorism in the annual Hero's Day Speech. L T T E and Sri Lankan government sign a permanent ceasefire, sponsored by Norway.  September 2002  Government lifts ban on L T T E , and both sides exchange prisoners of war. drops demand for separate state.  December 2002  L T T E , Sri Lankan government and Norway explore options for a federal structure.  April 2003  L T T E backs out of peace talks.  June 2003  International donors in Tokyo offer $4.5 billion in reconstruction aid to Sri Lanka.  March 2004  LTTE  Splinter group breaks away from the L T T E and fighting increases between the L T T E and the Karuna faction.  April 2004  National election gives 105 seats to President Kumaratunga's UPFA party, 82 seats to Prime Minister Wickremasinghe's UNP, and 22 seats to the Tamil-backed TNA.  July 2004  Suicide bombing in Colombo - the first incident since the beginning of peace talks.  September 2004  The Karuna faction and the L T T E engage in heavy fighting in the Eastern Batticoloa district - at least 7 people have been killed.  109  Works  Cited  Abu-Laban, Yasmeen. 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