This article attempts to explain how mobile phones influence how Sri Lankan Tamil refugees perceive cultural, psychological, and physical borders. Grounded in the information and communications technology (ICT) literature and diaspora communications, the lead author conducted twelve in-depth interviews with Mandapam camp residents in Tamilnadu, India, during Summer 2013. Results indicate that while camp refugees considered Sri Lanka their “motherland,” fear of government surveillance coupled with skepticism regarding the peace process impedes their return, even though official hostilities have ceased. However, mobile communications allow them to create a virtual community, which is important because camp life essentially separates them from both India and Sri Lanka.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration