ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Producing the Present

History as Heritage in Post-War Patriotic Sri Lanka

Today more than ever, nostalgia permeates heritage practices in Sri Lanka. The return to heritage in myth-building and historisation is a process that was not born in the post-civil war years but received more state sanction in the ideological setting of a triumphant Sinhala-Buddhist state victorious over un-national secessionist forces. The paper focuses on the production of a hegemonic heritage discourse, mapping briefly the parties involved, and exploring heritage in practice as a site of contest.

The author thanks Marina Carter, Anup Grewal, Sanayi Marcelline, Nilu Abeyratne and Sasanka Perera for their thoughtful reading of the original draft of this essay which enabled her to sharpen many of the arguments made here.

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