Sinhala, Tamil and the National Identity of Sri Lanka

May 27, 2020

In March 2015, the unexpected newly elected president of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, stated that the national anthem could be sung in Tamil at official and institutional events. For anyone alien to life on the teardrop island, this announcement may have come as a surprise since, after all,...

The Chimera of Linguistic Hegemony in South Asia

March 05, 2014

Linguistic allegiance remains a strong marker of cultural identity in South Asia. What role do South Asian languages play in today’s world — particularly since, as in most former British colonies, English often works reasonably well, especially in places a foreigner is likely to go? India is...

Sri Lanka and India: Living with the Elephant in the Room

December 09, 2012

How the remains of the civil war influence the relationship between Sri Lanka-India. Bilateral relations between India and its southern neighbour, Sri Lanka, have traditionally been cordial and friendly with repetitive periods of underlying strain – offshoots of India’s failed...