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Reading: Tourism Under Military: A Critique on Land Utilization and Tourism in Postwar Sri Lanka

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Tourism Under Military: A Critique on Land Utilization and Tourism in Postwar Sri Lanka

Authors:

Iraj Ratnayake ,

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, LK
About Iraj
Department of Tourism Management
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Mahesh Hapugoda

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, LK
About Mahesh
Department of Languages
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Abstract

This critique argues that the intervention of military in land utilization and recreational tourism in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka was instigated by marker-driven geo-political negligence. It discovers that the nature of the introduction of post-catastrophic
tourism (Zizek, 2014) has been affected by profound non-articulation of political significance to the traumatic historical memory of the inhabitants who were affected, which has resulted in generating a degree of dark tourism in the area concerned. The southern invasions in the form of usual pilgrims which ‘combined battlefield and leisure tourism practices’ (Pieris, 2014: 266) has characterized ‘the presentation and the consumption of real and commoditized death and disaster area’ (Foley and Lennon, 1996: 198) which has originated in consequences of a long term conflict. Correspondingly, the apparent mass tourism promotion by the government between 2009 and 2014 too has significantly disregarded the definitive symbolic principle of ‘the visitation to places where tragedies or historically noteworthy death has occurred and that continue to impact our lives’ (Tarlow, 2005: 48) before obvious profit motives. The study observes that serious memories and sensitivities of the thirty years of the war-affected community have not been paid attention to and has caused dangerous humanitarian negligence in a wider political sense. While the function of tourism at present as an agent of development in improving the living condition of the community seems evidently true in this context, the trivialization of the symbolic significance of a historical memory and ownership of a community, which has turned ‘the suffering into a leisure experience for contemporary tourists’ (Smith et al., 2010: 38) cannot also be easily overlooked.
How to Cite: Ratnayake, I. & Hapugoda, M., (2016). Tourism Under Military: A Critique on Land Utilization and Tourism in Postwar Sri Lanka. Sabaragamuwa University Journal. 15(1), pp.18–35. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/suslj.v15i1.7705
Published on 01 Dec 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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