By E. Valentine Daniel
This booklet discusses the anthropological and sociological facets of nationalistic violence. The publication is ideal for learning clash.
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Additional resources for Charred Lullabies
I shall argue that in a specifiable Sri Lankan ethnohistorical context, the Sinhalas have privileged history, whereas the non- 24 CHAPTER 1 Estate Tamils have privileged heritage. The second and the more extensive section of the chapter will be concerned with the third ethnic subgroup, which I have already introduced, the “Estate Tamils,” who may be seen to combine both stances toward the past in the process of defining who they are. The dispositions under consideration are held to be, with slight variations over time, integral markers of the identities of the groups in question.
But that never happened. What happened at the end of the first year was repeated after the second, the third, and the fourth year. Then it became the custom. Each year, our forefathers got themselves deeper and deeper into debt; and each year our forefathers’ entire annual wages had to be used to repay loans and interest to the ka´kvõi. Thus the following song: Speak not of Kandy to me; Nor repeat its name. 34 (Velupillai 1970:34) To this day, many of us are in debt to those ka´kvõis and their children, some of us continuing the old debt-obligation in village India where we have returned under the various repatriation schemes.
However, if indeed the song speaks the truth about these highest of officials in colonial Ceylon, it would be one of the severest indictments of British colonial exploitation of Estate Tamil laborers. In any case, it remains true that planters of that period reaped several benefits from these irregular, 36 CHAPTER 1 delayed, and infrequent payments of wages. As Wesumperuma notes, “the underlying factor for the planters’ preference for infrequent payment was the shortage of working capital which the coffee planters experienced” (1986:194).