Treasure Hunters

Authored by: Liyanage Amarakeerthi

The Routledge Companion to Sinhala Fiction from Post-War Sri Lanka

Print publication date:  September  2022
Online publication date:  September  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367554682
eBook ISBN: 9781003094708
Adobe ISBN:


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This is an excerpt from the novel Ahambakaraka, picked from non-consecutive pages to form a more or less complete tale of a behind-the-scenes account of the 1983 riots in Sri Lanka , where civilian Sinhalese turned against the Tamils. Here, Amarakeerthi points to a clear link between the economy and the ethnic riots , by showing how a Sinhalese trader , a restaurant owner, planned to chase away the Tamil trader next door to annex his business premises. It also shows how his plans and those of the policemen who aided him are undermined by the brains of an allegedly deaf and mute worker of the restaurant who wanted the stolen money for himself, and the way religious faith , actual or otherwise, can provide a cover for all things evil. Part of the tale is told after the fact by the deaf-mute to an elocution teacher – a friend of the protagonist of novel, Bandula Balagalle – who was hired to “cure” him.

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