Posted on International Alert's website international-alert.org/diasporadiaries

Produced by filmmaker Kannan Arunasalam, the portraits shed light on the complex relationship of each individual with their country of heritage. Each person featured in this series builds a piece of the picture of the Sri Lankan diaspora.

In May 2009 the war in Sri Lanka ended with a military victory for the government over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The war may be over, but the task of securing a long-term peace is just beginning and diaspora communities have a desire to make a positive difference to people’s lives in Sri Lanka. They are trying to navigate the complex interaction between personal and communal histories, political realities and wanting to improve the lives and prospects of those living on the island.

The 'Diaspora Diaries' series explores the array of identities and opinions within diaspora communities, aiming to stimulate dialogue amongst people of Sri Lankan heritage on the nature of their identities, connections and interactions with the country.

A wide range of individuals were approached from the main ethnic communities in the diaspora – Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim. Many of those we approached did not feel able to share their story with us. But, some individuals did feel that there was value to discussing their involvement. They wanted to explore what it meant to be a part of the diaspora, and to have the opportunity to share their stories.

We recognise that many voices are missing; the portraits in this series form only a small part of the narrative. At the end of the series, we will invite all those interested to submit their personal video to add to the richness of the diaspora story.

Contact communications@international-alert.org for more information about the series and wider programme.

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