This article analyzes the representation of Sri Lanka's communities in history textbooks that are currently in use. Even before the end of the war in 2009, the education system was recognized as an instrument with which the country's divided society could be rebuilt. The issues addressed in this article concern a period in which ambitious educational reforms are being implemented that envision textbooks as a tool for the creation of a new generation of citizens in a postwar society. It reveals that the general lack of recognition of minority communities, and the negative representations of the Tamil community in particular, that appear in these textbooks are not compatible with the proclaimed vision of a multicultural yet integrated society. Instead of fostering social cohesion, these textbooks may deepen ethnic divides and stereotypes, and therefore thwart reconciliation and long-term peace.
The Elusiveness of Multiculturalism and Positive Recognition in Sri Lankan History Textbooks
Examining the Alternative for Germany in European Context
unchecked political authority and opposition to constitutional liberal democracy), nor populism (i.e. dividing society into “the good people” and “the corrupt elite”) are ideological features of the program. 47 In other words, the key ideological elements