Marga Institute - Centre for Development Studies


Marga Publications include the research work of the Institute, the Marga journal and the Translation Programme. These could be purchased from the Marga bookshop (Publication Division) or at  leading  bookstores  in  and  around the City of Colombo.

Translation programme

The translation programme which led to Marga publications was complementary to the main focus of the Institute’s work. It met a felt need in the field of higher learning in Sri Lanka.

The programme was preceded by a survey of the Sinhala reading public which helped to identify the gaps particularly in the field of social sciences. The objective was to translate approximately 100 books into the Sinhala language and by so doing provide the Sinhala educated intelligentsia with a substantial body of writing in the social sciences. These writings were selected from the works of eminent experts and thinkers in the relevant disciplines and represented different schools of thought. The authors included  Myrdal, Baur, Sweezey, Baran, Wriggins, Rostow, Prebisch, Heilbroner, Kindleberger, Worsely, Almond and Coleman among many others. The programme also included a few well-known modern creative works such as Camus’s "Plague", Silone’s "Fontemara", Solzenitsyn's "One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch", Orwell’s "Animal Farm", Lederer’s  "The Ugly American". A few of the Marga publications have been translated into Tamil.

The Institute’s objective has been to provide reading material in both Sinhala and Tamil, in keeping with its vision of a multi-ethnic society.

World Bank Publications

In July 2010 the Marga Institute was appointed by The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development as a “Distributor” of selected Bank information products and services. Any World Bank Publication could be ordered through the Marga Institute at 50% discount on the US$ price.

Publications of the Marga Institute as at June 2011

  • Overview of the Local Government System: Towards Participatory Democracy in Sri Lankan Society - price Rs.200.00
  • Potency, Power and People in Groups, by Dr. Michael Roberts - price Rs.800.00

 Sinhala Translation of :

  •  The Law Governing Public Administration in Sri Lanka, by Dr. Wickrema Weerasooriya - price Rs.1250.00


Introducing Democracy: 80 Questions & Answers, by David Beetham & Kevin Boyle - price Rs.500.00

Mara Publications Price List.

Marga Publications

Available for Sale - History of Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka

  1. Tamil and Muslim identities in the east – Dennis B. McGilvray(No.24 of 30) 
  2. Globalisation and conflict –Rohan Bastian (No.23 of 30) 
  3. Militants, Militarism and the crisis of (Tamil) nationalism –S. Sumathi( No.22 of 30) 
  4. Stage Managing the Décor: Gender, ethnicity and conflict-Radhika Coomaraswamy(No.11 of 30) 
  5. The Sri Lankan ethnic crisis – A Tamil perspective –Karthigesu Sivathamby (No.25 of 30) 
  6. The Sri Lankan theatre in the past two decades-Ranjini Obeysekera (No.26 of 30) 
  7. International dimension of the Sri Lankan Conflict: threat and response- Dr. Rohan Gunaratna  (No.27 of 30) 
  8. The role of the Sangha in the Reconciliation process- C.R. de Silva and T. Bartholomeusz (No.16 of 19) 
  9. Beyond the talks : Towards transformative peace in Sri Lanka – Jayadeva Uyangoda(No. 13 of 30) 
  10. Primordialist strands in contemporary Sinhala nationalism in Sri Lanka: Urumaya as Ur –Michael Roberts(No.20 of 30) 
  11. The sixth genre: Memory, history and the Tamil Diaspora imagination – R.Cheran (No.7 0f 19) 
  12. Identity on the Borderline : Multicultural History in a moment of danger- Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake (No. 12 of 19)
  13. The role of the Churches in the Ethnic Conflict –Neville Jayaweera(No.17 of 19)

Marga Journal

The Marga Journal pre-dates the Institute by approximately one year. The founders of the Institute first came together to publish the Marga Quarterly Journal.

The Marga Journal is brought out twice a year by the Institute. Each issue is devoted to a specific subject. Omnibus volumes carry the edited versions of the main presentations at Marga Seminars as well as commissioned articles. There are approximately 10,000 backcopies and 100 journals covering a wide range of development issues over a period of 35 years. Many of the articles are authored by scholars and professionals invloved in the process of planning and policy making and provide valuable insights into the evolution of development processes and policies in Sri Lanka. Several issues of the Journals are now available in electronic form. To obtain electronic copies of selected articles or for more information on the contents of the past journals please contact the Librarian.

The Institute operates an Exchange Programme with other Research Institutes and Universities. The Institute has reorganized the publication of the Marga Journal and the first two volumes of the new series which are titled:- "Peace and Reconciliation” and “Burden of Disease and Equity” are available now. The forthcoming issue is “Youth Risk Behavior and Health in Conflict Situation.”

Recent Publications

  • A History of Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka Recollection Reinterpretation and Reconciliation (25  monographs)
  • A System Under Siege? An inquiry into the Judicial System of Sri Lanka.A Social Image of the Judicial System of Sri Lanka
  • Marga Journal - Burden of Disease and Equity(April 2006)

Forthcoming Publications

  • The Right to Development - A Sri Lanka Perspective
  • Paths to Development - The story of the Marga Institute
  • The Right to Education, Food and Nutrition, Health in Sri Lanka
  • Economics of Pension and Social Security in South Asia - Sri Lanka Country Study
  • Care for the Aged:- Institutional Provisions and Social Security

For further information please contact

Mr. Saman Amarasinghe, Publications  Officer
Marga Institute, No. 941/1, Jayanthi Mawatha, Kotte Road, Ethul Kotte.
Tel : 0094 011 2888790,0094 011 2888791 Fax: 0094 011 2888794


A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image.

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