Territorial Anxieties and the Impossibility of Boundary Demarcation
Professor Benedikt Korf
Department of Geography, University of Zurich
This talk is dedicated to the work of late Professor Shahul Hasbullah. I will discuss collaborative
research done with late Professor Shahul Hasbullah on the politics of boundary demarcations of local administrative units in Eastern Sri Lanka to commemorate his academic legacy.
The presentation will trace the history of the evolution of KPC and neighbouring D.S. divisional secretariats and the Pradeshiya Sabha system from the late 1980s, to illustrate how administrative boundary demarcation and ethnic segregation became increasingly entangled. The contradictions and controversies around the boundary demarcation in the Batticaloa district illustrate the impossibility of boundary demarcation as a politics of (ethnic) purification the attempt to purify administrative (and political) entities into ethnically homogenous territorial containers. The case of KPC has lessons, not only for Batticaloas politics, but for boundary demarcation politics for administrative or electoral purposes in Sri Lanka more broadly.
30 January 2020 (Thursday)
4:30 6:00 p.m.
At ICES (Kandy) Auditorium
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