Saturday, December 14, 2019 06:26:29 PM

Sinhala Buddhist nationalism

Photo Gallery By Unknown - Wed Dec 04, 2:35 am

In a broad sense, Sinhala Buddhist nationalism is not a new phenomenon. On the contrary, it seems to be almost as old as the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

A few days prior to the recent presidential election, in a piece published in these columns, I stated that the election would be a contest between the national bourgeoisie (i.e. indigenous capitalist class) and the comprador bourgeoisie (i.e. capitalist class looking after the interests of western capital), and that the former would receive wide support from the rural Sinhala Buddhist peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie and the working class, whilst the latter would be overwhelmingly supported by the ethnic and religious minorities, which constitute around 30% of the voting population and the numerically insignificant Colombo centric Anglicised elite. The national bourgeoisie convincingly won the presidential election. It did so mainly with the Sinhala vote. The ethnic and religious minorities – the Tamils and Muslim – overwhelmingly voted against it….

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