Sri Lanka, the ‘Teardrop Isle’, has been under international attention for more than two decades for its ethnic conflict and civil war, and recently, under intense media scrutiny for what seems like a decisive end to the civil war. While the ethnic conflict and the civil war have been the subject of numerous academic and non-academic studies in both the East and the West, there has been no significant research on nationalism, particularly Tamil nationalism, as it manifests itself in Sri Lanka.
Pathways of Dissent: Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka endeavors to fill this important academic gap through its collection of ten in-depth essays that present a wide perspective of the subject. The book holistically portrays Tamil nationalism from various disciplinary perspectives like history, political science, international relations, art, literature, sociology, and anthropology. In doing so, it tries to understand the nature of nationalism as it emerges in these areas and adds to the richness and complexity of the problematic.
The significance of this collection is not only its breadth of vision, but also the origins of the hypotheses. The essays cite primary sources from Tamil society and culture that are not usually referred to. It is the first multi-disciplinary collection of essays exploring the state of Sri Lankan Tamils and their nationalistic moorings. The book succeeds in adding further scholarship to the academic debate centered on nationalism, politics, sociology and ethnic conflicts. Academics and readers with a focus on ethnic conflicts, peace studies, nationalism, Tamil politics and society and South Asian history will find the book to be an essential reference source.
Chapter Nine: Nationalism in the Era of Neo-liberalism: The Changing Global Parameters of Self-determination and Statehood
The period following the cease-fire of February 2002 has placed Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism at its most important historical juncture since the 1987–1990 period. The December 2002 ‘Oslo Declaration’, and the October 2003 ISGA proposals represent formulations that have finally superseded the four-point Thimpu demands of July 1985 and represent a significant evolution in the politics of Tamil nationalism. Indeed, nationalism, national identity and even nations, despite their own attempts to argue the contrary, are not fixed, immutable or ancient entities, but are creatures of relatively modern history that are constantly being transformed in relation to the changing ...