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 the last two months. These two young men from the far warm south have come to the windswept far north coast of Romsdal for vocational training in 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.

Photo: Poologanathan Nadarajah´s personal archives
“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”.


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 that 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 on this website.

புதுப்பிப்பு│Update: 24.11.2021

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