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Sri Lanka:Towards a Brighter Future...?

Recent Political Crisis in Sri Lanka has again raised the concerns of the foreign investors and business community on the future of the country and the risk factors associated with their business activities. Soon after the war ended the foreign investors gained fresh confident regarding the future of the Sri Lankan economy, and with the on going political struggle the confidence again seems to be downsizing.

There was a fresh hope among all parts of the society, not only among business community, regarding the future of the country. Many dreamed Sri Lanka as becoming a developed country. The war effected the Lankan economy enormously for the last three decades, which delayed the economic development compared to many countries. Recently one of the IMF senior officials had mentioned that Sri Lanka's economy would have been equal to that of Malaysia, had the country not come across the war.

Sri Lanka was one the richest country in Asia soon after it gained independence from British. Even the former Singapore prime minister promised his people to change his country like 'Ceylon'. Ironically, today we still dreaming a Sri Lanka like Singapore. It also has to be mentioned that we have abundance of natural resources, while Singapore was to depend every thing on Malaysia, even for the drinking water.



We always used to blame colonization and the war when we talk about our economy. Doubtlessly, these two factors contributed a lot. But they are not the sole reasons. There are more. Obviously it is the mismanagement of the economy. Sri Lankan political culture made it impossible for the independent management of the economy free from the politicians. Even the major economic institutions have been under political pressure and politicised through out the times. Therefore, the country was unable to witness a remarkable economic development. How ever, politicians have always used war as a tool to hide their corrupted policies from the eyes of people and to safeguard their vote banks.

Even today's world's rapidly emerging largest economies such as China, India, and Russia are fighting civil wars and still they manged to build their powerful economies. So truly is it war that effected the economy?

Of course war somewhat effected, but not as a whole.

However, after the war was won by the government and the LTTE was militarily defeated, numerous rooms opened for the country's economic development. Apart from investor confidences, the professionals who loved to work in home country, but had less hope with country's future, started to feel the new breadth of hope.... now they can work, earn, and look after their family from their own home country itself, which they love. This was obviously will reduce the brain drain for a larger degree, which was one of the significant problems country faced for its economic development in the past. 

War effected Industries like tourism started boosting along with the peace in the country. People from all over the world got opportunity again to visit the south Asian nation, rich with its historical and natural heritage. Investors were looking at new business opportunities. 
 
Even the grass root level agricultural society felt that it has a brighter future at least from here after.

However recent developments in lankan political arena are not convincing anyone. There are concerns on the true nature of the Sri Lankan democracy. Journalists are feeling under threat. Writers and political columnists select their words carefully and self censor their opinions. This is not the signs of a truly Democratic nation.

Sri Lanka seem to have to travel further to ensure its democracy and ensure that all dreams are not vanished.

Sri Lankan government has an unprecendent opportunity today to integrate all societies in the mainstream politics and to move towards the development. Soon after LTTE was defeated militarily , the whole world raised its eyebrows surprisingly. SL should be the only country that defeated civil rebel group militarily. Now the war is over. Despite the LTTE supporters who still believe in a separate state are campaigning and raising voices , it is doubtful to what extent they can achieve their mission with the given fact of local and international political realities. Because, there is a greater change in the power of equilibrium in international arena, especially power balance is moving towards the eastern powers such India, China, Russia and Iran from western powers, which is why any international pressure from Western countries is hardly making any effect in the local issues.

With keeping this political reality in mind, government has a greater opportunity to integrate all societies in the national politics and move towards a brighter future. Should the government play a wise roll, that ensure the equal rights and opportunity of all communities, even of all segments of Sinhalese society, the country definitely has a brighter future ahead. Any development efforts will be meaningless, had the government keeps rooms for any internal conflict. What ever the party wins in the election this is one of the important issues.

It is extremely important at a time government is seeking two third majority in parliament for the constitutional change, which will have a decisive impact on the at least next five decades history of the country.

This is the time to build the confidence in the hearts of every one , which will automatically develop the nation.


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Holds a Degree in Business Management and Reading for the Masters in Journalism & Mass Communication. I have nearly four years of experience in Service industry, out of which around two and half years as the Managing Editor in a Regional Newspaper.

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