Experiencing eelam.com: Terror online

Maya Ranganathan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the context of the systematic and ingenious use of Internet in the just-concluded civil war for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka, the article argues that, despite the potential of the virtual space to be free and fair, the articulation of Eelam online mirrored the situation on the ground in Sri Lanka. Much like in the 'real' world, a sense of fear and censorship prevailed in the virtual world with computer-mediated communication becoming a dark and dangerous alley that one must fear to tread. Although all parties involved in the ethnic conflict were responsible for the silencing of critics through coercion, this article, through an exploration of selective online engagements, highlights the efforts at silencing dissent by players professing pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) views. The pro-LTTE players have been chosen for the study in view of the extensive ways in which the Internet has been employed in the construction and sustenance of an Eelam national identity among Sri Lankan Tamils worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-85
Number of pages15
JournalSouth Asian History and Culture
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Eelam
  • LTTE
  • online nationalism
  • Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora
  • virtual public sphere

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