Ernest Thalayasingam MacIntyre, Rasanayagam's Last Riot

Neluka Silva (University of Colombo)
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Ernest MacIntyre's reputation as Sri Lanka's most prominent playwright can be attributed to the sophisticated craftsmanship and thematic relevance of his plays.

Rasanayagam's Last Riot

takes place during the middle of the ethnic riots of 1983 in Sri Lanka and two thematic strands are interwoven. Sita, a middle-class Tamil, and her husband Philip Fernando, a Sinhalese, attempt to protect Philip's Tamil friend Rasanayagam from the anti-Tamil violence. After a few days in their house, Rasanayagam decides to go to a refugee camp because he feels that it is important to show his solidarity with the majority of the suffering Tamils. On his way there he encounters a Sinhalese mob and when he refuses to succumb to their intimidation and he is killed by the mob.

The sub-plot focuses almost

2849 words

Citation: Silva, Neluka. "Rasanayagam's Last Riot". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 July 2003 [, accessed 23 June 2024.]

12386 Rasanayagam's Last Riot 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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