At least two of the new states of the post-Second World War phase besides Sri Lanka, namely India and Malaysia, may be considered in the category of nations in dangerous equilibrium, with the difference however that Sri Lanka’s political experience indicates that she has survived this state over a longer period of time than the other two. Sri Lanka in this sense may therefore be regarded as being in a continuous state of dangerous equilibrium. India and Malaysia have still not produced the viable democratic alternative that Sri Lanka has. They still conform to the one-party dominance model.1 We have yet to see whether power can or will be transferred to an opposition party and whether the government that results will be stable and conform to democratic practices as in Sri Lanka, or entrench itself permanently. Conversely, the government that must give way could refuse to do so. Malaysia in this respect appears to face a serious situation after the events of May 1969,2 and her Sino-Malay problem, given the rival social, religious and cultural polarities begs a solution. Many of the other new nations of Asia and Africa have fallen victims to coups d’état and dictatorships or are showing distinct signs of veering away from democracy.
KeywordsCentre Government Opposition Party Cultural Polarity Protest Movement National Integration
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- 2.See The National Operations Council, The May 13 Tragedy: A Report (Kuala Lumpur, 1969).Google Scholar
- 5.See Ananda Guruge’s edition of the speeches, essays and letters of the foremost of Sinhalese Buddhist nationalists, Anagarika Dharmapala, in Return to Righteousness (Colombo, 1965) and D. C. Vijayavardhana’s thought-provoking and seminal work on Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism, The Revolt in the Temple: Composed to Commemorate 2500 Tears of the Land, the Race and the Faith (Colombo, 1953).Google Scholar
- R. Kearney’s Communalism and Language in the Politics of Ceylon (Durham, North Carolina, 1968) gives a detailed and excellent analysis of Sinhalese nationalism from British times to developments in the post independence years.Google Scholar