Urban Utopias pp 119-138 | Cite as

Manifesting Sri Lankan Megalomania: The Rajapakses’ Vision of Empire and of a Clean Colombo

  • Øivind Fuglerud
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Urban Anthropology book series (PSUA)


Fuglerud situates the ongoing urban renewal in Colombo within the wider economic and political context of President Mahinda Rajapakse’s rule in Sri Lanka during the period 2005–2014. The main two factors behind the many forced evictions of low-income communities from central Colombo in the last decade are the deployment of an authoritarian technology of ‘zoning’, privileging some segments of the population while neglecting others, and the building of an economic alliance with China. Urban renewal has been a way of building political support through the promise of a ‘world class’ future for the aspiring.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Øivind Fuglerud
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum of Cultural HistoryUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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