Image of Diaspora Diaries Nikini Jayatunga
Wednesday 16 March 2016
06:30 to 08:30

A rich discussion on the questions raised by the clips about the engagement of diaspora in Sri Lanka, what people think their role is, what the conflicts are and how they can be addressed and a showcase of the work International Alert has done on this area.

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.

Produced and edited by film-maker 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.

The second portrait follows the story of Nikini Jayatunga, a member of Voices for Reconciliation - a cross-ethnic group of second generation British Sri Lankans. She uses culture as a way of bringing people together and talking about conflict.

The third portrait is that of Paul Sathianesan, who arrived in the UK as a refugee and is now a Newham councillor. He feels a responsibility to the youth of Sri Lanka to make sure they have a peaceful future.

The fourth portrait is that of Amjad Mohamed-Saleem, born in Nigeria to Sri Lankan parents. He now lives in the UK, but previously worked in Sri Lanka as the country director for Muslim Aid, and continues to work on interfaith matters.

For more information on the series:

We have decided to screen the following 3 short films from the above 5;