Tuesday, April 6, 2010

more politics of the past

Saw this very interesting article about the politicization of archaeology in Sri Lanka. Basically, it boils down to who has the greater "right" to the island - the Tamils or the Sinhalese - by virtue of long-term residence. Since the colonial period, the official teaching has been that the Tamils were recent immigrants to Sri Lanka, a claim that appears not to be true. Now some Tamil archaeologists are accusing the army (largely made up of Buddhist Sinhalese) of creating a new Buddhist shrine in the former Tamil capital and claiming it's an ancient monument, bolstering the Sinhalese claim to the area.

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