Conclusion: Consolidating the ‘National Story’

  • Rachel Seoighe
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Compromise after Conflict book series (PSCAC)


This book has examined the production of Sri Lanka’s ‘national story,’ the exclusionary and repressive nature of that story, and how it was designed to politically benefit the Rajapaksa government and facilitate the terrible violence inflicted on the Tamils at the End. It has analysed the authorship of the national story as a professionalised form of denial, designed to avoid accountability for war crimes at the End. Interrogating this story—a story built on a genealogy of Sinhala-Buddhist power and incorporating international discourses of counter-terrorism and humanitarianism—reveals state political performativity as a method of state crime denial, one that aligned with the ethnicisation of power in Sri Lanka. This performativity was designed to reproduce the hierarchy of power with the Rajapaksa family at the apex. That power did not hold steady under Rajapaksa, due to his government’s corruption, nepotism and economic mismanagement, but its implications are still unfolding as the new President Sirisena attempts to balance his investment in Sinhala-Buddhist power against the calls of the ‘international community’ for liberal transition, including institutional reforms, a truth commission and, most controversially, war crimes trials.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Seoighe
    • 1
  1. 1.Middlesex University, UKLondonUK

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