A Tamil Asylum Diaspora: Sri Lankan Migration, Settlement and Politics in Switzerland

By Christopher McDowell | Go to book overview

Acknowledgements

I am very grateful to many people in Switzerland, Britain and Sri Lanka who gave me their time and generously imparted knowledge. I must mention by name, Walter Welti (of Data General) and Jill Walton who gave me access to word-processing machinery, showed me how to use it, and did much more besides. Glen Miller (of Reuters) who provided me with knock-down office space. Malcolm Rodgers (of the British Refugee Council), who must soon produce his own book on Sri Lanka, was as ever, enthusiastic, innovative and prepared to advise. Officials, too numerous to name, in the Swiss Federal Office for Refugees in Bern and Zürich opened their doors to me, patiently explained what was what and left me to my own devices. Staff at the British Consulate were discreetly co-operative. The UNHCR, Sri Lanka n division and the library also showed a keen interest in the project and were quick to despatch requested papers as did Sarah Rhodes at the Refugee Studies Programme's Documentation Centre in Oxford. Sue and Peter Albrecht of Cambridge Exams ( Zürich) gave me part-time employment as did Ricardo Cerdan and Frau Willener. Drs Barbara Harrell-Bond, Effie Voutira and Nic Van Hear read and commented on certain chapters. Additional thanks go to Tom and Vivien Bryant, and the Ronigers.

Over three years I met casually and interviewed a great many Sri Lankans in Switzerland and Britain, each and every one was prepared to become a part of the writing of this book and for their co-operation I am very grateful.

Finally, my greatest debt of thanks is to Professor Hans-Peter Müller who accepted me into the University of Zürich and proceeded to arrange research access with the Swiss Federal Offices. Over the following months Professor Müller allowed me to make my own mistakes and then carefully and with a clear eye suggested improvements, all of which made perfect sense. Sarah Miles at Berghahn Books worked with care and patience as did Peter Hayward in preparing the maps. It goes without saying, however, that any mistakes or weaknesses in this work are entirely my own.

Oxford, 1996

-ix-

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