It has been something of a shock for me to discover that the Sri Lankan authoress Karen Roberts had passed away in USA in 2018 while only in her middle-aged fifties (about the same age as my daughters). What a tragedy!
My past studies of ethnic pogroms in Sri Lanka and India alerted me to the power of oral communication and emotional voices in sparking retaliation against an ethnic other in neighbourhood or region. In May-June 1915 oral tales of Muslim atrocity (mostly concocted one can assume) were carried along the railway tracks and thus converted a clash at Castle Street Kandy on the night of the 28th May night into a series of violent attacks on Muslims residing in such towns as Kegalle, Rambukkana, Colombo, Panadura on the 29th and 30th May and thence to Galle and Matara and their outlying road networks between the 1st and 4th June.
Juliet Coombe, in Ceylon Digest, 19 December 2019,where the title is “Galle Fort’s hidden treasure Leyn Baan”
Mike, …. You quote with approval one ‘Rajeewa’ as saying: “The final result proved without ambiguity, the disconnect between the small group of elitist city dwellers and the rural masses.” ………………………..And then you say:- … “leads me to present a thesis** that this political tussle was an instance of the provinces ranged against metropolitan Colombo – that is, the rural vs the city (with a proviso excluding the rural Tamils and rural Muslims of east and north-west from this simplification).”
The Indian Ocean is one of the most contested regions in the world today. China, the United States, India, and also Japan, Saudi Arabia and other rich and powerful states are struggling for influence over Sri Lanka, located in the geographical heart of the Indian Ocean. The sea lanes of the Indian Ocean are considered to be the busiest in the world with more than 80% of global seaborne oil trade estimated to be passing through them.