Migration, Migrant Communities and Otherness in Twentieth-Century Sinhala Nationalism in Sri Lanka (up to Independence)



Sri Lanka is an island which was essentially peopled by migrants and conquerors who came from the sea. All the names of the island which are known today, from Taprobane to Ceylon, were given by these visitors. The people who were later called Sinhalese, Tamils, Indians, Muslims, Moors, Europeans, Malays, or Chinese all came at a historical period when the main religions were already constituted, urbanization was in process and writing had been invented. This extra-territorial origin explains perhaps the past need to regularly rename the island and the modern need to assert belonging through myths and legends.


Communal Representation Colonial State Literacy Test Constitutional Reform Legislative Council 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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