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SRI LANKA: COME WIND, COME WEATHER : A Political History of Sri Lanka since Independence in Narrative Form, Volume 1


SRI LANKA: COME WIND, COME WEATHER : A Political History of Sri Lanka since Independence in Narrative Form, Volume 1

by K.M. de Silva
August 2015 | 227 + xix pp

The book aims to examine some of the vitally important political issues that form an essential part of the Sri Lankan background to the ethnic conflict but which have been neglected somewhat by those writing on Sri Lanka, focusing instead as they have on the island as the centre of an ethnic conflict.

This present volume seeks to provide the beginnings of a comprehensive political history and could be treated as the first volume of Sri Lanka’s post-colonial history in a narrative form. It deals with two other themes in Sri Lanka’s history: first the far-reaching changes in Sri Lanka’s land policies and revival of its irrigation system through the leadership, primarily of D.S. Senanayake; and just as important, the negotiations with Britain on the transfer of power through his leadership.

It deals also with the political and ideological challenge by Bandaranaike and his associates to the liberal democratic structure with its emphasis on a multi-ethnic, multi-religious foundation of the first post-colonial political system associated with D.S. Senanayake as prime minister. We see also the flaws and failures of this challenge, a shattering of hopes built during and after the election campaign of 1955-56, and the price the Sri Lanka polity was called upon to pay—a prolonged ethnic conflict—and the killing of the victor in that election. Those who led the campaign for change in 1955-56 never anticipated that the price would be so high.

About the Author:

M. de Silva (PhD and D.Litt. from the University of London (1991)), Emeritus Professor, University of Peradeniya. He was Foundation Professor of Sri Lanka History at the University of Peradeniya (1969-95), and was the Executive Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Kandy/Colombo since its establishment in 1982 until December 2007. He was a member of the University Grants Commission, Colombo, Sri Lanka from 1979-89, and its Vice Chairman from 1985-89. He is the author of A History of Sri Lanka (Revised Edition) (New Delhi); Regional Powers and Small State Security: India and Sri Lanka, 1977-1990 (Washington DC);Reaping the Whirlwind: Ethnic Politics, Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka (Penguin, India) and Managing Ethnic Tensions in Multi-Ethnic Societies: Sri Lanka, 1880-1985 (Lanham MD) and is the editor or co-editor of numerous other scholarly works.
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