Ethnic Attachments in Sri Lanka examines the uses of ethnic identity in Sri Lankan society from the early medieval period through the present day. It takes account of the religious assertion of ethnicity in the early medieval period in South India and Sri Lanka. The book also traces the cultural geography of ethnic regions that existed under Portuguese and Dutch rule (1506-1796). The author shows how the following British period (1796-1948) was a time of extensive institutional collaboration between rulers and the upper levels of the native population resulting in a class society. Turning to the present civil war the author argues that it is due to modern competitive politics, which has pitted religion against language, resulting in escalating rounds of violence.
Born in Sri Lanka, LAKSHMANAN SABARATNAM arrived in the United States in 1976 to complete his Ph.D. and has taught at Davidson College since 1986. He is a student of colonial rule, and has written a number of articles on colonial rule and ethnic relations in Sri Lanka.