The representational burden of ethno-nationalist violence in Sri Lanka

Harshana Rambukwella

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sri Lanka is often seen as a cautionary tale of how a democracy can slide into intractable ethnic, nationalist and religious violence. Such narratives tend to be framed by a view of nationalisms in the non-West as being aberrant when contrasted with the normative liberal-democratic nationalisms in the West, something that has become difficult to sustain with the rise of populism in Western democracies. This chapter explores the politics of representation in three fictional narratives of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict. It argues that representing violence carries a dual burden - one of moral compulsion to document nationalist and ethno-religious excess, and the other of how a narrative becomes positioned in a larger global discourse of violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationViolence in South Asia
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000733020
ISBN (Print)9780367135119
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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