Sri Lanka/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Sri Lanka.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.


  • Cummings, Joe et al., Lonely Planet Sri Lanka (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Gunawardena, C. A. Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka (2nd ed 2006) 1100 entries, 400pp


  • Kelegama, Saman. Development under Stress: Sri Lankan Enonomy in Transition. (2006). 305 pp.
  • Winslow, Deborah, and Michael D. Woost, eds. Economy, Culture, and Civil War in Sri Lanka (2004) 242 pp excerpt and text search


  • De Silva, K.M. A History of Sri Lanka (2nd ed. 2005), 800pp; standard history by leading scholar
  • Peebles, Patrick. The History of Sri Lanka (2006), 248 pp standard history by leading scholar.
  • Perera, Nihal. Society and Space: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Postcolonial Identity in Sri Lanka (1998) online edition
  • Philips, C. H. Historians of India, Pakistan and Ceylon (1961) online edition
  • Spencer, Jonathan, ed. Sri Lanka: History and the Roots of Conflict (1990), essays by scholars; online edition
  • Strathern, Alan. "Controversies in Sri Lankan History." History Compass 2004 2(Asia). Issn: 1478-0542 historiography online link
  • Strathern, Alan. "Theoretical Approaches to Sri Lankan History and the Early Portuguese Period." Modern Asian Studies 2004 38(1): 191-226. Issn: 0026-749x
  • Suckling, Horatio John. Ceylon: A General Description of the Island, Historical, Physical... (1876) full text online

Primary sources

  • Ferguson, John. Ceylon in 1893: Describing the Progress of the Island Since 1803 (1893) 491 pages; full text online

Politics and violence

  • Bullion, A.J. India, Sri Lanka and the Tamil Crisis, 1976-94; An International Perspective (1995)
  • DeVotta, Neil. Blowback: Linguistic Nationalism, Instituional Decay, and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka. (2004). 276 pp.
  • DeVotta, Neil. "Ethnolinguistic Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka," in Fighting Words: Language Policy and Ethnic Relations in Asia Edited by: M.E. Brown, and S. Ganguly (2003)
  • DeVotta, Neil. "Illiberalism and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka," Journal of Democracy 2002 Vol. 13, p84-98,
  • Orjuela, Camilla. "Civil Society in Civil War: the Case of Sri Lanka." Civil Wars 2005 7(2): 120-137. ISSN: 1369-8249 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Smith, Chris. "The Eelam Endgame?" International Affairs 2007 83(1): 69-86. Issn: 0020-5850 Fulltext: Ebsco

Society, ethnicity and culture

  • Alwis, Malathi De. "The Changing Role of Women in Sri Lankan Society." Social Research 2002 69(3): 675-691. Issn: 0037-783x Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Cartman, James. Hinduism in Ceylon (Colombo: MD. Gunasena 1957)
  • Daswatte, Channa, and Dominic Sansoni.Sri Lanka Style: Tropical Design And Architecture (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Gombrich, Richard F. Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo (1988) online edition
  • Jayaweera, Swarna, ed. Women in Post-Independence Sri Lanka. (2002). 371 pp.
  • Kearney, R. N. Communalism and language in the Politics of Ceylon (1967)
  • Kemper, Steven. Buying and Believing: Sri Lankan Advertising and Consumers in a Transnational World (2nd ed 2001) Drawing upon fieldwork conducted over thirty years, Kemper examines the Sri Lankan advertising industry to show how executives draw on their skills as folk ethnographers to "Sri Lankanize" commodities and practices to make them locally desirable, essentially producing new forms of Sri Lankan culture. excerpt and text search
  • Manogaran, Chelvadurai. Ethnic Conflict and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka (1987)
  • Manogaran, Chelvadurai, and Bryan Pfaffenberger, eds. The Sri Lankan Tamils: Ethnicity and Identity (1994), 247pp, essays by scholars online edition
  • Roberts, Michael. "Tamil Tiger 'Martyrs': Regenerating Divine Potency? Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 2005 28(6): 493-514. Issn: 1057-610x
  • Sriskandarajah, Dhananjayan. "Socio-economic Inequality and Ethno-political Conflict: Some Observations from Sri Lanka." Contemporary South Asia 2005 14(3): 341-356. Issn: 0958-4935 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Tambiah, S. J. Sri Lanka: Ethnic Fratricide and the Dismantling of Democracy (1986)
  • Wilson, A. Jeyaratnam. The Break-up of Sri Lanka: The Sinhalese-Tamil Conflict (1988)