Nationalistic authorship and resistance in Northeastern Sri Lanka

Seoighe, Rachel (2016) Nationalistic authorship and resistance in Northeastern Sri Lanka. Society and Culture in South Asia, 2 (1) . pp. 1-30. ISSN 2393-8617 [Article] (doi:10.1177/2393861715608971)


Post-war Sri Lanka is defined by the logic of Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism, glorification and expansion of the military, and the exponential growth of state-corporate economic projects. This article examines the performative politics of the state in mass ritual discourse and spatial domination while acknowledging the various ways in which elements of the Northeastern Tamil community in Sri Lanka are mobilising as an activist community in the post-war period, including political agitation and emancipatory initiatives that respond to social justice issues, such as land grabs. Offering an analysis premised on the concept of performative politics, this article interrogates the process by which the state defines itself, while the Tamil community has used performative politics to communicate the unacceptability of the post-war performance of power. A framework of performative politics in post-war Sri Lanka, I argue, introduces a new grammar of politics more responsive to the nationalistic Sinhala-Buddhist settler-colonial tendencies of the state and to the polyvalent nature of Tamil resistance. On the international level, the state performatively complies with international demands for accountability and reconciliation while continuing to oppress the Tamil minority and undertake nationalistic authorship of post-war space.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 19340
Depositing User: Rachel Seoighe
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2016 10:15
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2019 12:33

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