ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A
Motivations and Dilemmas

Sri Lankan Boat Migration to Australia

Over the past 18 months, Sri Lankans have boarded boats for Australia in record numbers. Stories from boat migrants depict complex political and economic motivations for their journeys, contrary to the statements by both governments that the boats are filled solely, or primarily, with "economic migrants". In fact, the economic concerns that are motivating people are themselves inextricable from political problems, persecution and other forms of discrimination and injustice. Rumours of the Sri Lankan government's complicity in people-smuggling operations create a dilemma for the Australian government, whose survival at this year's federal election depends on stopping the boats.

Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

826for India

$50for overseas users

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

Subscribe now


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top