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

By Christopher McDowell | Go to book overview

6
Switzerland's Tamil
Asylum Migrant Population

Introduction

During the nine years between 1983 and 1991 24,781 Sri Lanka n citizens sought political asylum in Switzerland. The overwhelming majority were Tamils and Sri Lanka was the second largest source country of political asylum seekers after Turkey (see Table 6.1).


TABLE 6.1
ASYLUM APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED BY SIX MAJOR SOURCE COUNTRIES
TO THE SWISS FEDERAL AUTHORITIES BETWEEN 1983 AND 1991
CountryYear
1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 Total
Turkey 1,972 2,639 3,844 4,066 5,817 9,673 9,395 7,262 4,324 48,992
Sri Lanka 845 1,236 2,764 593 895 1,516 4,809 4,774 7,349 24,781
ex- Yugoslavia 74 102 138 119 131 818 1,365 5,645 14,205 22,597
Lebanon 19 49 107 144 375 529 2,477 5,533 1,352 10,585
Zaire 1,005 756 442 214 191 136 419 758 1,426 5,347
Pakistan 121 364 286 392 581 659 1,027 1,213 1,330 5,973
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Bundesamt für Flüchtlinge, Bern

-117-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Contents vi
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • List of Abbreviations x
  • Glossary xi
  • Part One - Introduction and Research 1
  • 1 - Introduction -- Asylum Diaspora 3
  • 2 - Fieldwork and Research Methods 33
  • 3 - Swiss Public Opinion, Asylum Policy Reform and the Repatriation Agreement 46
  • Introduction 46
  • Conclusion 63
  • Part Two 67
  • 4 69
  • 5 - Sri Lanka 1983 to 1991 -- Conflict 94
  • Part Three - Tamil Asylum Entry into Switzerland 115
  • 6 - Switzerland's Tamil Asylum Migrant Population 117
  • Introduction 117
  • 7 - Early-Phase Asylum Migration 1983 to 1985 140
  • 8 - Middle-Phase Asylum Migration 1986 to 1988 170
  • Introduction 170
  • Summary 196
  • 9 - Late-Phase Asylum Migration 1989 to 1991 197
  • Introduction 197
  • Part Four - Diaspora Divisions, Formation and Politics 225
  • 10 - Immigrants and Asylum Seekers 227
  • Introduction 227
  • 11 - Politics in Exile: The Profits of Inertia 252
  • Introduction 252
  • Conclusion 265
  • Part Five 267
  • 12 - Conclusion 269
  • Bibliography 290
  • Index 303
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