Sunil Bastian

(2009) Sri Lanka in the new millennium.

In: Tan Tai Yong, ed. Socio-Political and Economic Challenges in South Asia. New Delhi: Sage.

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of Sri Lanka making use of key developments in recent times. A paper that tries to do this task invariably faces the difficulty of choosing the focus. In an international conference one is always tempted to focus on the civil war, because this is what attracts international media and this is what many want to hear about. However privileging one narrative about Sri Lanka will not only give a false impression of a complex reality, but might not be able to come to terms with some of the paradoxes or even explain the continuity of the war itself. Hence this paper has chosen the path of multiple narratives without privileging any one of them.

Secondly, the paper tries to place the key events in recent times in a larger context of the political economy of Sri Lanka. Hopefully this provides a framework within which events can be understood.

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