Connecting Homeland and Borders Using Mobile Telephony: Exploring the State of Tamil Refugees in Indian Camps Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2017 Penn State University Press. All rights reserved. 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.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Information Policy

altmetric score

  • 9.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Sreenivasan, .., Bien-Aimé, .., & Connolly-Ahern.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • January 2017