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A History of Sri Lanka

A History of Sri Lanka
Item Code: IDF024
Author: K.M. de Silva
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 0144000156
Pages: 800 (Maps: 8, B & W Illus: 27)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5" X 5.5"
From the Jacket :

Sri Lanka is an ancient civilization, shaped and thrust into the modern globalizing world by its colonial experience. With its own unique problems, many of them historical legacies, it is a nation trying to maintain a democratic, pluralistic state structure, while struggling to come to terms with separatist aspirations. This is a complex story and there is perhaps no better person to present it in reasoned, scholarly terms than K.M. de Silva, Sri Lanka's most distinguished and prolific historian.

A History of Sri Lanka, first published in 1981, has established itself as the standard work on the subject. This full revised edition, in light of the most recent research, brings the story right up tot he early years of the twenty-first century. The book provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of Sri Lanka's development - from a classical Buddhist society and irrigation economy, to its emergence as a tropical colony producing some of the world's most important cash crops, such as cinnamon, tea, rubber and coconut, and finally as an Asian democracy. It is a study of the political vicissitudes of Sri Lanka's ancient civilization and the successive phases of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial rule. The unfortunate consequences of becoming a centre of ethnic tension and Sri Lanka's long-standing relationship with India are also discussed.

Exhaustively researched and analytical, this book is an invaluable reference sources for students of ancient, colonial and post-colonial societies, ethnic conflict and democratic transitions, as well as for all those who simply want to get a feel of the rich and varied texture of Sri Lanka's long history.

About the Author:

K.M. de Silva is Executive Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Kandy/Colombo, Sri Lanka, a post he has held since the establishment of the ICES in 1982.

Apart from his long association with the University of Ceylon (now the University of Peradeniya), Professor de Silva has held several distinguished positions including Smuts Visiting Fellow in Commonwealth Studies and Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, President, International Association of Historians of Asia and Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington.

Professor de Silva's publications include Social Policy and Missionary Organisations in Ceylon, 1840-55 (1965),Managing Ethnic Tensions in Multiethnic Societies: Sri Lanka, 18880-1985 (1986), Regional Powers and Small State Security: India and Sri Lanka, 1977-1990 and reaping the Whirlwind: Ethnic Conflict and Ethnic Politics in Sri Lanka (1998). He has been editor of Ethnic Studies Report, one of the editors of the International Journal of Group Rights and has been on the advisory board of The Round Table.

K.M. de Silva was selected as the Academic Prize Laureate (2002) of the 13th Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes. The Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes were established in 1990 by Fukuoka City, Japan, to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Asian scholarship and culture. Professor de Silva is the first Sri Lankan Fukuoka Laureate.


Preface and Acknowledgementsxvi
1.Colonizers and Settlers1
2.The Anuradhapura Kingdom I: Aspects of Political History from Saddhatissa to the Cola Conquest18
3.The Anuradhapura Kingdom II: An Irrigation Civilization32
4.The Anuradhapura Kingdom III: The Political Economy43
5.The Anuradhapura Kingdom IV: A Buddhist Civilization60
6.The Polonnaruva Kingdom: Indian Summer of Sinhaleses Power81
7.The Fragmentation of the Sri Lankan Polity: From c. 1250 to the End of the Fifteenth Century109
8.The Periphery Stakes A Claim127
9.The Crisis of the Sixteenth Century142
10.Portuguese Rule in the Maritime Regions, c. 1600-58163
11.The Kandyan Kingdom at Bay, 1658-87184
12.The Struggle for Mastery over Sri Lanka, c. 1680-1766196
13.Trade and Agriculture Under the VOC217
14.The VOC in Sri Lanka: The Last Phase, 1767-96237
15.The Impact of Dutch Rule249
16.Religion, Literature and the Arts in the Kandyan Kingdom265
17.The English East India Company in Sri Lanka, 1796-1802275
18.The Fall of the Kandyan Kingdom287
19.Economic and Social Change in the Early Nineteenth Century, 1802-32307
20.Crown Colony Government, 1802-32325
21.An ERA of Reform and Reconstruction, 1833-50338
22.A Plantation Economy, 1850-1910360
23.Peasant Agriculture, 1850-1910378
24.The Consolidation of British Rule: The Triumph of Conservatism399
25.Education and Social Change in the Late Nineteenth Century413
26.Religion and the Rise of Nationalism, c. 1870-1900427
27.Politics and Constitutional Reform in the Late Nineteenth Century447
28.Political Change in the Early Twentieth Century464
29.Elite Conflict and the Ceylon National Congress, 1921-28483
30.Social and Economic Change in the Early Twentieth Century, 1910-28498
31.The Donoughmore Commission and its Recommendations, 1927-31516
32.The Politics of the Transfer of Power, The First Phase, 1931-42531
33.D.S. Senanayake and the Passage to Dominion Status, 1942-47554
34.Social and Economic Change in the Donoughmore ERA, 1931-47570
35.Literature and the Arts: The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries590
36.Sri Lanka Since Independence: The Dominance of the UNP, 1947-56600
37.Linguistic Nationalism and A Socialist Experiment, 1956-77626
38.A Change of Regime: 1977-94681
Epilogue: 1994 and after703
Sri Lanka's Rulers: A Chronological List738
Further Reading759

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