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“Saving” Tamils through child adoption: two films of the Sri Lankan civil war

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dc.contributor.author Jayasena, Nalin
dc.date.accessioned 2018-02-09T06:13:47Z
dc.date.available 2018-02-09T06:13:47Z
dc.date.issued 2017-12-07
dc.identifier.citation 7th International Symposium 2017 on “Multidisciplinary Research for Sustainable Development”. 7th - 8th December, 2017. South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, University Park, Oluvil, Sri Lanka. pp. 331-337. en_US
dc.identifier.isbn 978-955-627-120-1
dc.identifier.uri http://ir.lib.seu.ac.lk/handle/123456789/3016
dc.description.abstract This paper examines two films, Somaratne Dissanayake’s Saroja (2000) and Mani Ratnam’s A Peck on the Cheek (2002), through the recurrent motif of adoption. Both films represent a Tamil child, whose parents have been “lost” to the war, in need of rescue. In the Sinhala film Saroja, the eponymous Tamil girl is saved by a Sinhala family when both her parents are killed by the Tamil Tigers and in the Tamil film A Peck on the Cheek, a Tamil girl named Amuda is adopted by a young Tamil couple in Madras when Amuda’s parents choose to join the militant movement in Sri Lanka. The two films’ preoccupation with adoption, I argue, sheds light on the ethnic and gender dynamics of the Sri Lankan armed conflict. More specifically, the two films ascribe the role of savior to the Sinhala community in Sri Lanka and the Tamils in Tamil Nadu. While the Sinhala film sees the Sinhala family as a safe alternative to a Tamil home, the (Indian) Tamil film views Tamil Nadu as an appropriate home for an orphaned Sri Lankan Tamil child. The two films’ preoccupation with Tamil children arguably renders the Tamil national question a child-like concern. Through the films’ uncannily similar portrayal of Sri Lankan Tamils, this comparative study suggests that both the Sinhala and the (Indian) Tamil visions of the conflict propose a solution that denies Tamils any agency and is symptomatic of the marginalization of Tamils during the conflict and in the post-conflict period where a sustainable, long-term solution has proven to be elusive. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, University Park, Oluvil, Sri Lanka en_US
dc.subject War en_US
dc.subject Films en_US
dc.subject Tamil en_US
dc.subject Adoption en_US
dc.subject Rescue en_US
dc.title “Saving” Tamils through child adoption: two films of the Sri Lankan civil war en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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