The theme of this article is the transnational activities of members of the Tamil diaspora in Norway and their significance to development in the Northeast region of Sri Lanka. Our analysis acknowledges the complexity of Tamil transnational activities, particularly in regard to issues which may be seen as political. A key observation among the majority of the Tamil diaspora concerns their pragmatic and seemingly apolitical approach to development. This is explained with reference to the positionality of the Tamil diaspora, as a key actor in regard to politics and development in Northeast Sri Lanka, but simultaneously trapped by the dynamics of war and peace. Thus, members of the Tamil diaspora employ transnational strategies, but in forms that cater to complex and sometimes contradictory needs for Tamil identity and belonging, political interests of national self-determination and security, and survival for families.