Darshi Thoradeniya

Swedish Development Aid in Post-1977 Sri Lanka

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: development aid, SIDA, Sri Lanka, hydropower generation, nationalism

Development aid is a double-edged sword. The donor expects to develop the receiving country by facilitating development programmes planned by the latter. Of course, development aid comes with strings attached – the donor has its own terms and conditions over the receiving country. However, it is very difficult to predict the way development works at the ground level of the receiving country.This paper explores how Swedish aid in the 1970s facilitated a particular type of development that turned out to be ethno (Sinhala) religious (Buddhist). While the largest development programme of the day was in progress in 1978, how did an ethnic conflict break out in 1983? What was the development discourse put forward by the Government? Did development include all ethnic groups in the country? By revisiting the Kotmale hydropower generation project funded by Sweden under the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Programme, this paper attempts to answer the above questions.

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