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This book offers a new perspective on contemporary debates about nationalism in South Asia in general and Sri Lanka in particular. The price of that nationalism in Sri Lanka is the current agonizing split between Sinhalese and Tamil. The central focus here is the #xE2;#xAC;#xDC;capture#xE2;#xAC;" of Buddhism by militant Sinhalese nationalism in the colonial and postcolonial periods and the framing of subsequent key constitutional legal moments. This is the first study that combines the dynamics of constitutionalism with the orbit of historical, political and anthropological scholarship on the cosmology of Sinhalese Buddhism and its relation to Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism. It explores four cases of legal-constitutional moments and offers a unique contribution to the politics and history of devolution in Sri Lanka. A timely and scholarly intervention given the intensification of Sri Lanka#xE2;#xAC;"s civil war since the election in 2005 of President Mahinda Rajapakse on an overtly ultra nationalist Sinhalese Buddhist platform, this book will be of interest to scholars of South Asian Studies, anthropology, sociology, ethnicity and political science.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Sri Lankan Nationalism and the Presence of the Past: Towards a Hermeneutic Perspective1. The History of State Formation and the Crisis of Ethnicity in Sri Lanka2. The Cosmology of Buddhism, the Pali Chronicles and the Ontology of Evil3. Textual Practices, Sinhalese Buddhist Consciousness and Dissonance4. Galactic Polities and the Decentralization of Power5. The Modernisation of Sinhalese Buddhist Consciousness in the Late Colonial and Postcolonial Period6. Citizenship and The Approach of the Other7. Language and Ethno-Linguistic Nationalism8. Cosmology, Constitutionalism and The Tamil as Other9. Decentralization, Federalism and the Cosmology of BuddhismConclusion: The Buddha does not have to return to the Centre