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The Sri Lanka Reader: History, Culture, Politics

The Sri Lanka Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Authors
Publisher Duke University Press
Year 13/04/2011
Pages 792
Version hardback
Readership level General/trade
ISBN 9780822349679
Categories Asian history
$153.55 (with VAT)
564.54 PLN / €125.89 / £108.15
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Book description

The Sri Lanka Reader is a sweeping introduction to the epic history of the island nation located just off the southern tip of India. The island's recorded history of more than two and a half millennia encompasses waves of immigration from the South Asian subcontinent, the formation of Sinhala Buddhist and Tamil Hindu civilizations, the arrival of Arab Muslim traders, and European colonization by the Portuguese, then the Dutch, and finally the British. Selected texts depict perceptions of the country's multiple linguistic and religious communities, as well as its political travails after independence in 1948, especially the ethnic violence that recurred from the 1950s until 2009, when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were defeated by the Sri Lankan government's armed forces. This wide-ranging anthology covers the aboriginal Veddhas, the earliest known inhabitants of the island; the Kings of Kandy, Sri Lanka's last indigenous dynasty; twenty-first-century women who leave the island to work as housemaids in the Middle East; the forty thousand Sri Lankans killed by the tsunami in December 2004; and, through cutting-edge journalism and heart-wrenching poetry, the protracted violence that has scarred the country's contemporary political history. Along with fifty-four images of paintings, sculptures, and architecture, The Sri Lanka Reader includes more than ninety classic and contemporary texts written by Sri Lankans and foreigners.

The Sri Lanka Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Table of contents

List of Illustrations xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

I. From Ancient to Early Modern 9

II. The Colonial Encounter 133

Sri Lanka: National Identity and the Impact of Colonialism / K. M. da Silva 135

The Portuguese: An Introduction / Jorge Flores 152

The Dutch: An Introduction 189

The British: An Introduction 230

Kandyan Culture in the Colonial Era: An Introduction 295

Colonial Postscript: The Other Eden / Richard de Zoysa 328

III. Emerging Identities 331

Buddhist Identities: An Introduction 334

Muslim Identities: An Introduction 409

Tamil Identities: An Introduction 458

Christians and Burghers: An Introduction 559

Emergent Perspectives in Modern Art: the '43 Group-Formation of a Sri Lankan Avant-Garde / Larry D. Lutchmansingh 574

IV. Independence, Insurrections, and Social Change 589

V. Political Epilogue 713

Acknowledgment of Copyrights and Sources 735

Suggestions for Further Reading 745

Index 753

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