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Dileepa Witharana is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics and Philosophy of Engineering at the Open University of Sri Lanka. His research interests include politics of urban development, engineering and nationalism, history of technical education, energy and environment policy and practice and multilateral and bilateral trade agreements.

Negotiating Power and Constructing the Nation is the first comprehensive attempt to discuss Sri Lankan engineering in relation to Sinhala nationalism. By selecting three very different engineering sites, this book expands the meaning of "engineering" and revisits the popular claim by the Sinhalese people - "engineering is in our blood" - to show how and why this perception has been constructed, modified, and revised over time. The author sheds new light on a growing field of study with his precise exploration of technology and incisive socio-political investigation of Sri Lanka over the past century.

"This book is a highly original and provocative examination of Sinhala nationalism in Sri Lanka, seen from the unexpected perspective of the history of engineering. The result is full of fascinating new insights, from the tale of Sri Lanka's 'lost' industrial future, as imagined in the 1930s, to the recent recovery of a radically new sense of its past - a past based on the mythical figure of Ravana, now refigured as a heroic engineer of the nation, Witharana guides his readers with skill and charm into often completely new perspectives on the Sri Lankan past." ~ Jonathan Spencer, Regius Professor of South Asian Language, Culture and Society, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh

"Dileepa Witharana's text marks a significant intervention into debates about nationalist history in Sri Lanka. Scholarship has long held that Sinhala nationalism had a predominantly past-oriented nature and that it lacked a forward looking developmentalist orientation. Withatrana makes a bold counterclaim, marshalling an impressive body of Sinhala and English language empirical sources, that there was indeed a developmentalist vision and that it was marginalized due to collusion between the colonial political economy and elite interests. Witharana's intervention here is not only academic, it is also political. His argument opens up a space for us to see multiple possibilities and trajectories for the nation -- set against unilinear narratives that have dominated both scholarship and popular discourse. Witharana's book is also unique in that it explores the history of technology as a site from which to craft an alternative genealogy of nationalism in Sri Lanka -- an area that has received scant scholarly attention."  ~ Harshana Rarnbukwella, Professor, Postgraduate Institute of English (PGIE) Open University of Sri Lanka

ISBN 978-624-5529-05-6
Author Dileepa Witharana
RS. 2,000
4 In Stock

Since times immemorial, people have experienced the divine spiritual through art and architecture. In Shared Sanctities, museuologist and writer Hasini Haputhanthri explores some of the historically sacred spaces in Sri Lanka together with photographer and film maker Sujeewa de Silva, producing five visual narratives on religious confluence.

Hasini and Sujeewa situate Sri Lanka as an island of encounters, where people, ideas and traditions from all over the world arrived via sail boats and ships and then took root, adapted and grew into new forms. By exploring heritage sites of Polonnaruwa, Nalanda, Kandy, Galle and Colombo they document how temples and kovils, churches and mosques have all borrowed, shared and evolved through time, making the island, as Marco Polo says 'undoubtedly the finest island of its size in the world'.

ISBN 978-624-5502-08-0
Author Hansini Haputhanthri; Sujeewa de Silva
RS. 1,250
29 In Stock
Pages: 64
Published by: International Centre for Ethnic Studies

This study is based on an analysis of people's perceptions of the 'religious other'. The data was collected at the end of 2019 by interviewing 1,000 respondents in four multi-religious districts: Ampara, Colombo, Galle and Mannar. The sample consisted of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Roman Catholics in equal proportions.

The study generates some preliminary findings on how different communities perceive religious tolerance and coexistence. By presenting different life scenarios and talking to 1,000 men and women of different age groups from four areas reflecting the diverse religious composition in Sri Lanka, the study seeks to enhance our understanding of inter-group and intra-group relations in Sri Lanka, as the country struggles to build social harmony and religious cohesion. The study seeks to influence law, policy and social interventions, that can eliminate or least reduce, religiously motivated violence, and promote respect for and tolerance of `the other'.

ISBN 978-955-580-247-5
Author Ranmini Vithanagama
RS. 200
Out of stock
Pages: 89
Published by: International Centre for Ethnic Studies

'How lucky we are to have had Mala — taking on the big concerns of our time examining them with love and care. She concludes her essay on the Sigiriya frescoes by conjuring the uncontainable power of these painted women - their "smile lingers' , as she says. We hope the reader of these essays will see- as we do- that Mala's vast humanity and Mala's irrepressible smile, lingers."

'Her Smile Lingers’ : a collection of selected essays by Malathi de Alwis, edited by Kanchana N Ruwanpura, Caryll Tozer, Chulani Kodikara, Sonali Deraniyagala and Vraie Cally Balthazar



ISBN 978-624-5502-12-7
Author Sandamali Kamalchandra Baddegama
RS. 1,000
5 In Stock
Pages: 243
Published by: International Centre for Ethnic Studies

Nadine Vanniasinkam is a Researcher at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo

This article draws from personal interviews with individuals from the Muslim community and secondary sources and outlines the devotional, cultural, and popular music and song traditions of the Muslims of Sri Lanka. It discusses local, regional, and international influences on Muslim music trends and reasons for the decline in musical engagement around the turn of the century. The article calls for wider discussion on and cross-sharing of the different music traditions of the Muslims of Sri Lanka.

ISBN 978-624-5502-03-5
Author Nadine Vanniasinkam
RS. 200
28 In Stock
Pages: 19
Published by: International Centre for Ethnic Studies
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