Sri Lanka in the Modern Age

A History of Contested Identities

Nira Wickramasinghe

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Sri Lanka in the Modern Age Hardback
January 2006£35.00
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Sri Lanka in the Modern Age Paperback
January 2006£16.50
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Since the late 1970s, civil war has left Sri Lanka in an almost permanent state of crisis. Conventional histories of the country by liberal and Marxist scholars in the last twenty years have thus tended to focus on the state’s failure to accommodate the needs and demands of the minorities. The entire history of the twentieth century has been traced to this one key issue. Sri Lanka in the Modern Age offers a fresh perspective based on new research. Above all, Nira Wickramasinghe has written a history of the people of Sri Lanka, rather than a history of the nation-state.


Nira Wickramasinghe is Professor and Chair of Modern South Asian Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Her most recent books are Metallic Modern: Everyday Machines in Colonial Sri Lanka (2014, in press) and L'invention du vetement national au Sri Lanka: Habiller le corps colonise (2006).


‘For those wanting to understand the origins of the disputes which have kept the island of Sri Lanka in turmoil for the past 35 years, Professor Wickramasinghe has written a packed and comprehensive account of the historical developments which have shaped the nation now known as Sri lanka.’ – Asian Affairs