Power, privilege and women in the equation of ethno-cracy and citizenship: a commentary on Rohini Hensman’s paper
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Adding to the extensive list of writings on ethno-nationalism and the evolution of ethno-cracy of the Sri Lankan state, the paper by Rohini Hensman rightly points out the need to reflect on the terms ‘ethnicity’ or ‘nationality’ as well as ‘culture’ and ‘community,’ and the need to shift the domain of law, constitution and public policy to the terrain of the Sri Lanka state, its legitimacy, and how it rolls out to its citizens bringing inclusive and equal democracy to the fore. It maps the historical time path where an ethnocentric state, ruling political elites and nationalist parties have used and are continuing to use their power and ideology of religious supremacy and Sinhala majoritarianism, thus keeping the ethnies divided and resulting in fragmentation of the polity. Here majority–minority politics has been constructed with the majority being conferred special privileges, thus breeding competing identities and preventing the building of a national political consciousness.
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