Reflections on Social and Political Violence in Sri Lanka
Edited by: Jayadeva Uyangoda
This anthology on violence in Sri Lanka brings together efforts by a number of scholars in recent years to grapple with various dimensions, manifestations, and experiences of violence in Sri Lankan society.
Societies produce and live with generalized violence-political or otherwise-under their own specific circumstances. Living with violence is a profoundly difficult and complex experience. Violence, as an experience, encompasses not only the individuals or families that are immediately affected by it. It impacts on the very phenomenology of the entire society.
In dealing with the experience of violence, societies sometimes react to it in seemingly strange ways. Forgetting and erasing of those memories of violence is perhaps one such way of dealing with it. But the phenomenon of violence does not appear accept our societies willingness to relegate it to the backyard of historical memory. It repeats itself in a number of theatres-in the war front, in election campaigns, in the universities, and in the minds and bodies of suicidal young lovers-in a terrifying pace. This anthology is a reminder of that enormous reproductive capacity of violence embedded in our society, and the need to intervene in its transformation towards meeting rudimentary human needs and aspirations.
Jayadeva Uyangoda is Professor of Political Science at the University of Colombo.