From Ceylon to Aukra


The Norwegian newspaper clipping covers two Tamil work immigrants from Ceylon (nowadays Sri Lanka) to “Aukra bruk” in 1973. “Aukra bruk” is a shipyard on the island of Gossen in Aukra municipality in Møre and Romsdal county in Norway.

“Aukra bruk”. Photo by Eilif Næss. The picture is from the archive of the newspaper, “Tidens Krav”, from the period of 1970-1994. Now, this photo is in Nordmøre museum’s photo collection. (

The reporter writes that Poologanathan Nadarajah and Shanmugam Kandiah Nagarasa has temporarily settled in Gossen for work at the shipyard for last two months. This two young men from far warm south have come to the windswept far north coast of Romsdal for vocational training at the mechanical shipbuilding industry.

They both together had a workshop for repairing different boats in Kurunagar in Ceylon, which they named as “Yarl Marine engineering”1, told Nagarasa to DsporA Tamil Archive. They had a work-based relationship with Cey-Nor and a good friendship with Anthony Rajendram2 who had, at this time, moved back to Ceylon with his family from Norway. Through one of his friends in Norway, Anthony recommended both to “Aukra bruk”, who were interested to give them a work placement.

At that time, the Norwegian foreign consultant was only in Delhi in India, who received the travel voucher3 from “Aukra bruk” in 1971. But Poologanathan and Nagarasa received the travel voucher delayed in spring 1973 caused by Bangladesh Liberation War. Finally, Poologanathan (28) and Nagarasa (26) landed in Norway on 20th November 1973.

“Fra Ceylon til Aukra” (year unknown, probably “Romsdals Budstikke”). Left side, Nagarasa and right side, Poologanathan. Received from Poologanathan as a digital photo. Based on a dialogue with Nagarasa they were interviewed a short period after their start at “Aukra bruk”.

According to Nagarasa, this article is more likely to be from “Romsdals Budstikke” newspaper. DsporA Tamil Archive was trying to find the original archival material from the archive of the newspaper. And contacted the National Library of Norway, who do “collection, preservation and making available of published content within all types of the medium”. That includes newspapers published in Norway. The digitalised newspapers are available at their website. Unfortunately, the newspaper, “Romsdals Budstikke”, from the 1970s is not digitalised. So, it was advised to search in the microfilms that are available for public access at National Library of Norway in Solli Plass in Oslo. Or based on booking, they can be sent to a nearby Norwegian local public library that has a microfilm apparatus.

The National Libray of Norway


1 Yarl or Yaazh (யாழ்) is a short form of Yaazhppaanam (Jaffna) peninsula in Eelam (Sri Lanka/ Ceylon).

TamilNet. (2008). Jaffna/ Yaazhppaa’nam/ Yaazhppaa’nap Paddinam/ Yaazhppaa’naayan Paddinam.  Hentet fra

2 Anthony Rejendram was the first Eelam Tamil who came to Norway in 1956.

3Travel voucher is a travel permit based on a cause.

Due to the lack of or fragmented archives or limited access to archives in Tamil society, it has been challenging to get access to available sources that can support oral history interviews.
In this situation, writing about diaspora Tamil history will be a dynamic process which may change its shape and be updated over time. Thus, we welcome the public to provide feedback with any verifiable sources in the case of need for correction in the factual information in this website.

Reproduction of this article is allowed when used without any alterations to the contents and the source, DsporA Tamil Archive, is mentioned.

Updated: 18.10.2020

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