Universal Suffrage in Ceylon and Lanka from 1931-81

Kingsley M de Silva’s edited collection of articles on Universal Suffrage … has been  a neglected work . As Sri Lanka struggles today and as many cast reviews on the island’s history perhaps this event in 1831 and its repercussions should receive more incisive attention from analysts. Apart from KM de Silva himself, the authors include RA Ariayaratne, CR De Silva, Tilaka Metthananda, Vijaya Samaraweera, SWR de Samarasinghe, Neelan Tiruchelvam and AJ Wilson …. by and large a Peradeniya University consortium.

One can ask: how many scholars have consulted this work and incorporated its findings – critically of course –in their evaluations? I plead guilty. I have not myself even though I have a copy of the book. This failure has been due in part because my studies after the year 1981 were concentrated on such topics as Sinhala nationalism, Anagarika Dharmapala, the ideological foundations of Sihale aka Kandyan Kingdom and the lineaments of sacrificial devotion among the Tamil Tigers). Nevertheless, an’t we say that the neglect of this enterprise is an indictment of the journalists and scholars of Sri Lanka?

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