Conclusion: Consolidating the ‘National Story’
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.
- Gowing, R. (2013). War by Other Means? An Analysis of the Contested Terrain of Transitional Justice Under the “Victor’s Peace” in Sri Lanka. London. Retrieved February 5, 2017, from http://www.css.ethz.ch/en/services/digital-library/publications/publication.html/159535.
- Gramsci, A. (1971). Selections from the Prison Notebooks (Q. Hoare & G. Novell-Smith, Eds. & Trans.). London: Lawrence and Wishart.Google Scholar
- Green, P., & Ward, T. (2004). State Crime: Governments, Violence and Corruption. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
- Hodgkin, K., & Radstone, S. (2005). Memory, History, Nation: Contested Pasts. London: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
- Höglund, K., & Orjuela, C. (2013). Friction and the Pursuit of Justice in Post-war Sri Lanka. Peacebuilding, 1(3), 300–316. Retrieved February 5, 2017, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21647259.2013.813171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kirschenbaum, L. A. (2004). Commemorations of the Siege in Leningrad: A Catastrophe in Memory and Myth. In P. Gray & K. Oliver (Eds.), The Memory of Catastrophe. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
- Raghavan, S. (2013). (Re)Designing Democracy with Sinhala Buddhism. Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, 4, 88–104.Google Scholar
- Srinivasan, M. (2016). I Want to Topple the Govt. in 2017, Says Rajapaksa. The Hindu.Google Scholar
- Thiranagama, S. (2012). In My Mother’s House: Civil War in Sri Lanka. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
- Thiranagama, S. (2013). Claiming the State: Postwar Reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, 4(1), 93–116. Retrieved February 4, 2017, from http://muse.jhu.edu/content/crossref/journals/humanity/v004/4.1.thiranagama01.html.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wickramasinghe, N. (2009). After the War: A New Patriotism in Sri Lanka? The Journal of Asian Studies, 68(4), 1045–1054. Retrieved February 8, 2017, from https://www.jstor.org/stable/20619860?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents.CrossRefGoogle Scholar