18 April, 2024

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Global Technological Developments & How Sri Lanka Should Reframe Its Growth Strategies

By W A Wijewardena –

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

Tech-savviness makes a nation Master of the World

In ancient times, the Master of the World was the country with the largest number of soldiers. This position got shifted about 200 years ago to the country with the physical capital allowing it to acquire industrial prowess. Then, about 100 years ago, the country with the highest financial capital became the Master. About 50 years ago, it was the human capital that promoted a country to this position. Today and tomorrow, it is the technology, supported by all the above factors, that will enable a nation to rule the world.

If these factors are present, it will help a country to enjoy the fruits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a term coined in 2015 by Klaus Schwab, convenor of the World Economic Forum. Sri Lanka is still in the Second Industrial Revolution in which production is basically done by electrically driven machines. For it to reach the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it should leapfrog over the Third, a difficult feat but not impossible, if proper strategies are adopted consistently and continuously.

Even modern wars are fought using high technology

The supremacy of technology in running human affairs is being amply demonstrated by the ongoing Russo-Ukraine war. Russia, the second largest military power in the world after the United States, could have accomplished its target of annexing Ukraine within a day or two. Even after 400 days, the war is still going on and Russia seems to be at the receiving end of the war. How could a small nation with only 44 million people producing an output of a little over $ 155 billion take on a giant like Russia with 145 million people producing more than $ 1.5 trillion? The secret lies behind the advanced military technology of NATO countries that back Ukraine against not so technologically advanced Russian military forces. Hence, wars are fought and won today not by the size of the economy or the strength of the military power but by the quality of the non-combatant human brain power that fuels the advanced military technologies in fighting wars.

Making Sri Lanka a rich country by 2048

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has pronounced that his goal is to make Sri Lanka a rich country by 2048, when the country celebrates the centenary of independence from the British. India too has made a similar pronouncement to join the rich country club when it celebrates its centenary of independence in 2047. The accomplishment of this goal by either nation will crucially depend on its ability to jump the bandwagon of emerging global technological advancements as and when they occur pushing the world nations in new directions. In this context, India is already on its way to become a technologically advanced nation by inviting global technology giants to invest in India, promoting its research and higher learning institutions to go for technological breakthroughs in collaborative works with like institutions in the rest of the world, and connecting them to the local industry so that they could produce for the bigger global market. Sri Lanka is yet to design such a comprehensive strategy acceptable to all the warring political parties in the country. As I have remarked in a previous article in this series, it would have been more relevant had President Wickremesinghe got the endorsement of all the political parties to such a strategy than getting those who support in Parliament to just approve his government’s agreement with the IMF’s bailout package.

Copying technology is an option for poor countries

The global technological trends are beyond the control of Sri Lanka. The country is not a trend setter but a follower. The countries at this stage of development are always emulators, copying from others. As Gurcharan Das has revealed in his India Unbound, confronted by the problem of feeding the ever-increasing number of mouths, in early 1960s, the foresightful Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri commissioned his Minister of Food and Agriculture, C Subramaniam, to find a high-yielding wheat to increase the productivity of the agricultural sector. Subramaniam had learned that an American scientist, Norman Borlaug had developed a remarkable dwarf wheat, named Lerma Rojo, in Mexico that could dramatically increase the output. This was copied and put into cultivation in India. The result was that a previously net-wheat importer becoming a net wheat exporter over the years.

To complete the self-sufficiency in grains, another dwarf hi-bred paddy, Taichung Native 1, was copied from Taiwan and popularised among Indian farmers. Soon India became a net exporter in rice too. Over years, the Indian scientists were able to further improve both these varieties. When I visited the agricultural research centre in Hyderabad in 2007, those scientists were experimenting with new breeds of rice that could withstand prolonged droughts in that area. There to localise what had been copied earlier. What this means is that there is nothing to be ashamed of copying and emulating technologies developed elsewhere if a nation is not able to develop them on its own given its existing low technological base. But it should mobilise its own resources to invent their own technologies later.

If a nation fails to progress in this direction, it cannot be a winner and Master of the World. In fact, Japan after the World War II followed the same strategy by copying innovative technologies being developed in the West initially and later getting its own research institutions and universities to produce new inventions not in hundreds but in thousands a year. Both China and Vietnam are at present following the same strategy.

Technology divide between the rich and the poor countries

The income divide between the West and the rest of the world was reinforced by a ‘digital divide’ in the 1990s. Now it is to be consolidated by a new divide that can be termed as the ‘technology divide’ between them. This need not be the case because the human brain power is the same everywhere. Those scientists who have migrated from the poor countries to the West have produced marvellous new inventions. It is a feat which they could not accomplish when they were in their home countries. What is the secret to this unusual development? Does it mean that the brain power gets activated when they settle in the Western world? That is because the opportunity set that is afforded to them by their new hosts is more amicable and conducive to conducting research, enjoying its fruits, and earning recognition for their achievements.

This was evident during the Soviet era in Ukraine which was a member of the Soviet Socialist Republics. Those scientists were an unhappy lot though they were highly inventive. That was because their work had catered to the development of the Russian part of the republics by promoting its military industrial complexes, space exploration, and the propaganda machines. It is reported that nearly a quarter of the scientific workforce in Ukraine had migrated to the West during this period. After independence, the country attempted to correct it, but the legacy of the Soviet era during which individual freedoms had been suppressed has loomed over it.

Sri Lanka should embrace modern technology

Sri Lanka’s GDP is estimated to be at $ 89 billion in 2028. If it is to be a rich country by 2048, it should have a per capita gross national income of $ 12,000. If the population reaches 25 million by 2048 as projected, Sri Lanka should have a total gross national income of $ 300 billion to support this country status. To produce this quantum of income, it should have a minimum compound annual growth rate of about 6.26%. To attain this growth rate, Sri Lanka should necessarily produce for the global market since the domestic market is too small to attain the necessary economies of scale for economic activities to sustain. But the global market requires countries to produce quality goods and services based on emerging high technologies. Sri Lanka’s strategy during the next 25 years should be to harness these emerging technologies to make a noticeable presence in the global market.

Investment in technology a must for everyone

Technologies today change at a rate that even those who invent them cannot keep track. Hence, dominant technologies today will not be so dominant tomorrow. What this means is that in this flow of technological changes, a country’s production units should be resilient to quickly absorb the emerging modern technologies that are to be introduced by shedding the old ones. But it is costly and requires continuous engagement with new technologies. This is being done continuously by giant global producers like Apple, Microsoft, or Tesla, to mention but a few. But how can a poor country like Sri Lanka afford these costs? It is by starting small and concentrating on what is feasible within the given domestic conditions. Sri Lanka cannot make giant leaps in technology like Singapore or South Korea in this respect. But it can join the global forces by getting integrated with them.

Do not destroy the institutional structure

This requires a strong institutional structure and the observance of the Rule of Law that includes the protection of property rights as well by the government. In economics, institutions are not ‘formal organisations’ as popularly believed, but the values, ethos, and beliefs that a nation holds in general. When brought to a common structure, values, ethos, and beliefs mean accountability for public action, checks and balances in discretionary powers enjoyed by public authorities, a governance system that accommodates changing public opinion, and penalties for and swift action against those who violate the underlying principles. These were codified to the country’s constitution by the establishment of independent commissions – human rights, elections, audit, police, public service, and public utilities – under the 19th Amendment to the constitution. Attempts seem to have been made to subdue the independent working of these commissions by threatening to sack members or appointing loyal persons to those positions.

Learning from bad experiences in the past

Sri Lanka already has some experiences of interfering with the functioning of the independent institutional system. One was the sacking of the Central Bank Governor, the late N.U. Jayawardena, by the Sir John Kotelawala government in 1953 on some flimsy charges. The charges were flimsy because one charge was that NU had solicited a loan for his wife from the manager of the local branch of the Standard Chartered Bank. A commission of inquiry was appointed, and NU, after being found guilty, was sacked by the Governor General as the law had provided for. Kotelawala won for the time being by attaining his goal of sacking the Central Bank Governor but lost completely within a matter of just three years. His party was routed in the general election in 1956 not qualifying to take the baton of the opposition in Parliament. To add insult to injury, the new government headed by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike exonerated NU from all charges and even appointed him as a Senator, the highest unelected legislative power which one can get in a bicameral system of government.

Another episode was the sacking of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake in 2013 after the Parliament approved of an impeachment motion against her. Again, the government won in the noticeably short term and lost soon after the power was shifted to an opposition presidential candidate. Again, the new government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe reinstated her in 2015 and allowed her to retire from service gracefully.

The executive and the Parliamentarians who support the executive in diluting the independence of the institutional structure may feel jubilant about their action at that particular point in time. But they are being closely watched by the rest of the world, on whom the country depends for its economic survival. Any wrong step taken, however much it is considered justified, will lead to far-reaching consequences which Sri Lanka is planning to have with tech giants.

In 1983, Sri Lanka lost a valuable opportunity to have technology transferring investments in the country by Motorola and Harris Corporation when the Government failed to take quick action to control the anti-Tamil riots that broke out in July that year. A nation that cannot learn from such past mistakes and tends to repeat the same is a nation that cannot prepare itself for the future.

Without governance, acquisition of technology a challenging task

What this means is that Sri Lanka should reform its house to order immediately if it wishes to acquire much-coveted high technology from tech giants in the other parts of the world. Without these pre-actions that involve governance, accountability, rule of law, and property rights, the acquisition of technology will become a challenging task.

*The writer, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, can be reached at waw1949@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 7
    4

    What happened to Ranil’s Volkswagen factory? Remember the grand opening? :))

    Mr W.A. Wijewardena …….. forget your training in Economics for a moment ……… do you really believe this lot of pols can make Lanka a developed country?

    What has Ranil been doing for 74 years? Do you really believe at this stage he is somehow going to get a magic-touch? :)))

    Are you mad or am I mad? ……… That is the question?

    Udurawana was the greatest Economist Lanka ever produced ……. cause he had no training: he couldn’t help but only see reality for what it is.

    • 1
      3

      WWW,
      Yes! Technology including artificial technology is key to development, Sri Lanka has also recently introduced STEAM as the goal of education in Sri Lanka from primary schools alongside USA (2006)UK and other western countries.
      STEAM MEANS Science, Technology, Arts and Mathematics.

      • 1
        1

        I am an admirer of Japan , China , Vietnam and now India among the East about their strategic moves towards development

        • 6
          0

          “To complete the self-sufficiency in grains, another dwarf hi-bred paddy, Taichung Native 1, was copied from Taiwan and popularised among Indian farmers. Soon India became a net exporter in rice too.”
          And in our island paradise, in 2020, a visionary President, supported by 6.9 million fawning voters, plus a Buddhist monk cum pesticide expert, and a paediatrician cum geologist, decided that all the above could be replaced with the 2000 year old technology of our purportedly glorious past. The results were of course less than impressive. What they forgot was that the 2000 year old technology required ALL citizens (except the king and the monks) to work in the fields……

          • 1
            0

            OC
            In fairness to RRI, hybrid varieties of rice had been introduced and dominated cultivation by the 1970s.
            But there have been issues with some of the varieties that were declared to be responsive to agro-chemicals. Even India faced such issues.

        • 3
          0

          Some of you might find this interesting …….. Top 20 Exporting Countries of 2022

          Don’t know what criteria was used: China and India should surely be in there but few countries you might not first think of

          https://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/top-20-exporting-countries-of-2022-1151076/

          • 1
            0

            Nimal,
            The secret is in the criteria. Belarus is no.1 because it has a small GDP, of which its exports are a significant portion. Ditto for the rest.
            Interesting facts:
            Belarus GDP : 68 Billion USD
            Sri Lanka GDP : 88 Billion USD
            As Samuel Clemens said, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

            • 3
              0

              OC,

              The criteria was right at the top of each country named :)) …… I was distracted while reading; was listening to Palki. Damn Sinhala_Man.


              This is a very good explanation …….. how a country’s export-to-GDP ratio can be greater than 100%

              What does it mean when exports or imports of a country are more than 100% of its GDP?


              I think the other answers here are a bit technical, so let’s simplify it a little and explain why exports might exceed 100% of GDP.

              As pointed out, GDP is made up of five components, Consumption, Investment, Government spending, Exports, and Imports, or C+I+G+X-M.

              Let’s start with a small country that has $1 billion in consumption, $1 billion in investment and $1 billion in government spending. GDP so far is $3 billion.

              This small country happens to host a large car factory. Of course, a small country only needs so many cars, so the country exports most of these cars, making $4 billion in foreign sells. Now GDP is $7 billion.

              • 4
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                continued

                With all that wealth coming in from the car factory, the country uses that money to import a bunch of products that it can’t produce on its own, so now it has $4 billion in imports. Since imports are subtracted from GDP, total GDP goes back to $3 billion.

                In this case, exports equal 133% of GDP ($4 billion / $3 billion).

                This is essentially what happens in small countries with high productivity like Luxembourg and Singapore. Due to their small size, instead of trying to be self-sufficient and produce all the products their population needs, they specialize in a few highly-profitable industries. These industries may produce more money from exports than the entire domestic economy. All that money from exports allows them to purchase imports far into excess of what their domestic economy could otherwise support. —- Darrell Francis (From Quora)

      • 3
        0

        Nimal,
        “Mr W.A. Wijewardena …….. forget your training in Economics for a moment ……… do you really believe this lot of pols can make Lanka a developed country?”
        I wouldn’t want to live in a developed country. Something like Sri Lanka in the 90’s would do fine for me, without the war of course.

      • 1
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        “artificial technology”
        I would have thought that all technology is artificial– unless one insists that things like the honeycomb, spider’s web, bird’s nests etc. comprise ‘natural’ technology.
        Was the term by any chance intended to be ‘artificial intelligence’?

      • 0
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        I am sorry. It should have been artificial intelligence. My apologies!

    • 4
      5

      Technology has given us the Internet, and I’m connected via a fibre optic line. the charges as the same as they were two years ago, but with so many other bills to be settled, and the cost of food more than all else, I’m scratching my head about how to settle al these bills. Add to that the charges for electricity.
      .
      nimal, as I have said before, you write sense, and although you used to give us large doses of clowning, there was always consistency and concern for people in what you wrote. The same goes for Dr Wijewardena. This article has just come on, and your comment is the only one on display. This site is one where there are decent human moderators, yet there already were 2 DISLIKES for your sensible comment, and no likes, until I added one.
      .
      The people are getting more demoralised by the day, and many are starving; the overdue Local Government Elections must be held ASAP.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

    • 3
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      Nimal Fdo
      Forget VW. I don’t know the details but how the Ministry of Trade & the PM were taken for a ride so easily is laughable. Anyway, I understand that we will soon be a premium electric car manufacturer, even challenging the likes of Tesla with a high performance supercar made with Kevlar, an expensive material used in high tech racing cars & the aerospace industry. It maybe a promotional exercise to show the world that little SL is capable of taking on the goliaths of the automobile industry but I think it would have been better to spend all that resources in transforming the existing 2 stroke petrol engined 3 wheelers to electric power to start with. In the late 70s, I used to watch the 6 million dollar man & the episodes started with the introduction ‘Gentlemen, we have the capability……’. So RW can be happy with the vision that SL will be another South Korea in the fore front of electric car manufacture way before 2048.

      • 4
        0

        Raj,

        I’m overcome with a sense of gloom and depression of what’s happening …….. and of all the opportunities squandered …….. up to now.

        The country/people don’t have to suffer this way. It’s not difficult to bring the country out of this quagmire if the politicians’ true intent is focused on it. But I don’t think Ranil’s and other pols’ true intent is that …….. as always they just want to play politics and hang on as long as possible.

        I can’t speak for all/others …… but like OC, I too don’t believe in development for development’s sake ……… many people in the “developed” countries/world yearn for simpler things.

        • 2
          0

          Nimal

          If I remember correctly, some years ago, a politician had commented that Coca Cola, KFC & McDonalds outlets in Jaffna was a sign of development. So are (toll) highways to keep those hi spec Mercs, BMWs, Porsche on the running. However, it has been said that the Katunayaka 4 lane expressway built on stable ground cost LKR 1800m while an 8 lane Delhi-Mumbai expressway built on loose gravel conditions cost the equivalent LKR 437m. So, development come at a cost. Very soon we will have our very own elect. supercar to drive on those highways.

          Didn’t we also have an innovator who could extract diesel fuel from non biodegradable polythene? I don’t know if these innovators receive govt. grants but it was certainly sensational. There are many small companies in UK who will discard the internal combustion engine of your old banger & chuck in an electric motor for a modest sum. The govt. should have encouraged the conversion of polluting 3 wheelers to electric than supporting vanity supercar projects because I doubt very much if there would be a demand for a super car built in a third world country with no manufacturing history.

          • 2
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            Raj,

            There’s always hype in places all over the world. If the ideas/inventions are worthwhile and profits can be made, angel-investors will line up to bring them to fruition. Most successful businesses all over the world were not financed by governments: the governments have only provided a stable/good business environment.

            When it comes to generating hype, Lankans are second to none! Some years ago there was a great hoo-ha in Lanka about a scientist who was trying to create life in the laboratory. He was feeding most of the hype himself. I used to go past his office every week for lectures. His noticeboard was full of cuttings of what others/magazines had written of him. He was feeding the university daily paper as well. The hype that was there in Lanka was not there in his actual place of work: he was hardly known. You have to take these things with a grain of salt.

            If he was really able to create life …… the hype wouldn’t have been necessary. :))

            • 2
              0

              continued

              “There are many small companies in UK who will discard the internal combustion engine of your old banger & chuck in an electric motor for a modest sum.”

              We were in the UK recently and went to a big supermarket in the Lakes District …….. outside was full of posters offering to buy used cars in any condition. I at once knew the supermarket was owned by non-English. The supermarket was Asda; you know the story. Thousands of English are working for Indians: tables have truly turned. ………… Anglophiles will be forced to reluctantly learn new things! ……. Sorry, Sinhala_Man …… time and tide wait for no man. :)))

            • 1
              0

              Nimal,
              “If he was really able to create life …… the hype wouldn’t have been necessary. :))”
              What are you suggesting? That his wife was ugly?

          • 1
            0

            Raj,
            “Didn’t we also have an innovator who could extract diesel fuel from non biodegradable polythene? I don’t know if these innovators receive govt. grants but it was certainly sensational.”
            Yes, and the one who could make a car run on water, and even convinced the PM to give him a piece of land for a factory. Let’s also not forget the young fellow who received a million bucks from Maru Sira for “inventing” a rocket.
            A land of innovators, indeed.
            The strange thing is that most of the “scientists ” in the country kept quiet while all this was going on.

          • 0
            0

            Raj – UK ,

            Today , pricey Rolex is not completely Swiss made . Nearly sixty
            percent or so is made in China and possibly some other countries .
            Same is the case with German Mercedes , assembled even in
            S Africa . Popular Polo brands like Ralph Lauren and Hilfiger get
            sewn in China and other cheap labour countries and today
            nobody cares a hoot about where popular brands are made as
            long as they are their brands . It is a big story . But One Thing Is
            Unshakably True . Assembling Other People’s Products In Our
            Country Will Neither Make Us Innovative Nor Creative ! And even
            having huge deposits of resources won’t make us Free From
            World Obligations like Political Bonding with Countries that
            Promote Us In Various Ways . So, developments come with
            strings heavily attached ! Especially to a country like ours !

    • 2
      2

      “All talk, no action”.
      What is needed is a younger generation of educated people in governance, not the present lot of old farts with decrepit brains.
      Age and term limits and formal educational qualification should be introduced in a new constitution if any progress is to be achieved.
      The future is very bleak with the present lot..

    • 8
      0

      Nimal, Lanka could have made plenty money by selling the copyrights of things which are unique to us. To begin with 1) SB, SB politics, SB history, Archaeological artifacts, 2) Lankan culture, politics and history based on Mythicalvamsa 3) tales of 2500 years of civilization 4) non surgical Sterilization techniques through food, clothing . . . . you name it 5) All purpose live saving, Mythical holy water/pani 6) how to end a war without single casualty 6) how to make people disappear without a trace. 7) secrets of systematic cleansing, of communities. All you want to know about 8) family kleptocracy 9) Democrazy 10) constipation 11) low and odor 12) overnight prosperity and splendor 13) SHAM 14) Often I’m told there are countries similar to us, who have successfully dismantled, stripped and bankrupted a nation, but never seen the list yet.

      • 6
        0

        chiv,

        “Lanka could have made plenty money by selling the copyrights of things which are unique to us. To begin with 1) SB, SB politics, SB history, Archaeological artifacts, 2) Lankan culture, politics and history based on Mythicalvamsa 3) tales of 2500 years of civilization”

        Some Lankans have made billions selling precisely those to the gullible ……….. but unfortunately it’s concentrated with a few …….. hasn’t trickled down. :))

        Look at how much ol’ Donald has made selling crap ……… they say ……. one is born every minute ……..

  • 6
    1

    Since we are only going to do small bits of this technological revolution(as it has been proven that we only have the potential for that), all we need to do is to spread the money to the masses and let them build up from ground level.

    No, but Ranil is pretending to give the IMF money to the 26% poverty-level poor, whilst taxing the hardworking struggling workers for all they are worth to create his mighty-big vista of technological revolution : the Ranil Robot! It’s like the Rajapaka Crypto. The world sees this as a shady alternate and there is only so much that it can go up to. Ranil’s robots are the same. World is adverse to the idea actually. They toyed with the idea for a while, but the idea will plateau. There may be intricate robots bits here and there, but that is all it will amount to. Only definite thing that needs to be done is to spread the wealth of the top Lankan conglomerates (that is mostly offshore), to the Lankan Masses. Motherland will achieve its best that way – technology and all. It’s that simple!

    • 3
      1

      “the Ranil Robot!”

      Ramona,

      Tsk tsk …… You shouldn’t be talking of your beloved husband OC that way! :)))

      Political couples can be on opposing camps but still have mutual respect for each other! …….. Kellyanne Conway/George Conway …….. James Carville/Mary Matalin


      Sorry, OC …… just couldn’t let that one go!! :)))

      Now you see why Native won’t have a bar of women: wise guy!

      • 1
        0

        Nimal,
        I thought you both lived in Pittsburgh?

        • 0
          0

          Do I?

          • 0
            0

            Ramona,
            Didn’t you say so yourself?

            • 0
              0

              Did I?

  • 1
    0

    Today and tomorrow, it is the technology, supported by all the above factors, that will enable a nation to rule the world.

    All having technology are leaving the country The environment shapes people’s actions. The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do. the other countries make value for Expertize.

  • 4
    0

    Sri Lanka thinks that building Buddhist Temples illegally is more important than technological development and economic developent.

    • 6
      0

      The former rear Admiral Prince of Darkness constantly thumps his chest and threatens the Thamizh people with dire consequences for protesting against the building of illegal Buddhist temples and erecting Buddha statues ( the recent one that was to be erected was from Thailand ) on their lands or on public land that is for the benefit and use of the local Thamizh population. Instead of correctly stating that this country is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country, where the Chingkalla Buddhists are the majority, he falsely claims the island is a Chingkalla Buddhist land and as such they have a right to erect Buddhist temples and Buddha statues anywhere in the island and the Thamizh have no right to protest, even if it is being erected in their private lands, fields and farms, as long as it is not his or in the lands of other Chingkalla Buddhist Fascists.

      • 5
        0

        When did the island become a Chingkalla and Buddhist-only land? Only 2/3 of it was and the rest has always been Thamizh and Hindu land from ancient times. There was no country called Ceylon or now called Sri Lanka until the British for their own convenience, just like they did in modern India and in many other former colonies, created a new colony or country by uniting the ancient Chingkalla and Tamil nations and homelands on the island in 1833, prior to that and the capture of the Kandyan kingdom the Portuguese and Dutch ruled the Chingkalla and Thamizh areas they captured as two separate colonies and when the British captured them, they merged it with the Thamizh predominating and majority Madras Presidency of British India. If they had left this as it was then what? The entire Thamizh north and east and the Chingkalla lowlands would have become part of Thamizh Nadu and Thamizh homeland. This man should read history first and stop ranting rubbish. Just because the British created India does not mean the Hindi speakers now can claim the entire India, including Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other non-Hindi speaking states as theirs. They were trying to but the people of Karnataka now have taught them a good lesson.

        • 5
          0

          This island is the homeland of Chingkalla and Eezhan Thamizh nations and the country or colony called Ceylon was created by the British in 1833 by the union of these two nations and homelands. How can the Chingkallams now ignore history and fact and claim the entire island as theirs, when it never was, just because they became a majority due to this union? When the Portuguese Dutch and British came over they observed and commented two nations and people occupy the island in two specific and defined homelands. The northeast and the northwest coast of the Thamizh and the rest of the island Chingkallams. Both had their own rulers and chiefs. They never stated that this is a Chingkalla Buddhist-only land anywhere, this rubbish started only after independence. When the British demarcated the North and Eastern provinces and declared them as Thamizh provinces and the homeland of the Eezham Thamzh. These were from lands the Chingkallams had no claim whatsoever, even using the claim that the east was at one time part of the Kandyan kingdom, which it never was but came under the loose control of the Thamizh/Chingkalla kings of Kandy after the fall of the kingdom of Jaffna. This is also for a brief period. It was never part of the Kandyan kingdom proper but was always ruled by Thamizh chiefs.

          • 6
            0

            Now trying to alter maps and show that the entire east is part of Kandy to lay false claims to the Thamizh east for the Chingkallams. It never was and most of Trincomalee district was part of the Jaffna kingdom and it fell to the Portuguese with the rest of the kingdom of Jaffna and the rest of the east fell soon after. The British carefully went through all these claims by the Chingkallams claiming large parts of the North Central and East as Chingkalla lands using the Kandyan kingdom, and even the remotest claim by the Chingkallams was looked upon favourably by the British and Padaviya was removed from the north and ThambanKadavai( Tamankaduwa) was removed from the east and merged with the newly created Chingkalla north central province. The rest of the north and east were declared Thamizh homeland and provinces to which the Chingkallams had not even the remotest claim from ancient until now, even using the Kandyan kingdom claim, as this kingdom did not directly control them and they were always Thamizh occupied from ancient times and ruled by local Thamizh chiefs and the ancient history and place names of these regions have always been Thamizh and the history Thamizh Hindu or Buddhist.

  • 4
    0

    There is a long way to go. Our young have been fed on Sinhala Only to ensure that certain politicians and Buddhist priests stay in power. Our university teachers in some areas do not speak English. So, there is an entrenched view that you can do without modern technology. Our Sinhala Only chauvinists think that what the old kings left is good enough. There are miles to go before we can catch up.

  • 3
    5

    Now, here’s a ten-minute video in English, highlighting the positives still to be found in Sri Lanka:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc5bmpSwbWo&t=17s
    .
    I will return to tell you more about how this came to my notice, etc.
    .
    Every human being will enjoy this. Let me see if some others can analyse the reasons why this is so delightful.

    .

    .

    • 4
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      Sinhala_man,
      I had a look at the propaganda video for attracting Tourists to Sri Lanka and I don’t see any positives about changing the political culture. Yes, there is no doubt that Sri lanka has and had the positives to be a developed, prosperous, peaceful country in the world with full of natural resources for economic, cultural and human resources. Unfortunately, the country went in a wrong direction by the political and religious leadership and I don’t see any positives to come out of this crisis which is created deliberately by our politicians and religious leaders. You can encourage the tourism and bring some dollars which will benefit to few but that is not a permanent solution to the economic development which provide economic and political safety.

      • 2
        5

        Dear Ajith,
        .
        1 of many.

        .
        I first saw this video because “leelagemalli”, my erstwhile friend whom I seem to be now battling all the time, had provided a link to it. I realised that if I duplicated the link, a few who’d have skipped his link would look at mine.
        .
        I’m hoping that LM will spot this and try to work out what a wonderful attitude Paul and Jo have to the people of Sri Lanka. The video isn’t dishonest propaganda to lure the wealthy rich to visit us because the government wants revenue. In fact, they make an early reference to the bad press that we have received recently, and they don’t say that the bad publicity was unjustified.
        .
        Instead they say how wonderful the people are, and of course, how lovely the country. The couple seem to be from South Africa – forget the politics! If we’re born into a place where there’s bitterness, we can still focus on what is beautiful and admirable. So, Ajith, try to see the same video in what I think is the spirit in which it was made.

      • 2
        4

        2 of many
        .
        About three months ago
        some readers were rather tickled by my revealing that I had participated in Classic Car Rallies and come second in a race at the Pannala Track in a Hillman Minx made by Isuzu in Japan.
        .
        At 5′.40″ in this
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlk43qRnauo&t=111s
        .
        reference is made to Japanese manufacture. There were many slight variants. For instance, my car had column steering like this:.
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z-IkY7UrLM
        .
        but not like this:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DEVzpgAL8M&t=20s
        .
        However, most would just like to hear very brief identification of 120 Rootes Group vehicles as here:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-VpxzEiTro
        .
        The cars brought in by Paul and Jo may have been of interest to the villagers thronging round them. But even more listen to what they say around 8′.10″ about shortcoming in service. I often read the comments n YouTubes; here most appreciate the visit, but not because it was bringing in revenue.
        .
        One commenter says that the rally has been “using the fuel that running short in a country run by corrupt politicians.” That’s muddled thinking. These guys brought money in, and our shortages are related to our bankruptcy.

        • 1
          0

          Paying a last visit to this article before comments close, I’d like to re-affirm that Paul and Jo are really nice people, but I find that there are other videos also made by tourists which make positive statements about the people.
          .
          This couple knew how to speak expressively in English. However, there is the possibility that this video will be exploited by less moral people.

      • 2
        4

        3 of 3.
        Well, why not visit us with food that you could have brought to us? No, what has been stolen by our politicians cannot be made good by individuals. Alleviating hunger in a whole country cannot be undertaken by individuals; however, the rally had also been planned before the current conditions became known.
        .
        The oil companies are producing plenty of petroleum; Paul pays for it (rather indirectly, perhaps) and we import the petrol. But what if it be contended that fossil fuels ought to be used for essential travel; these old cars guzzle fuel. True. But all this has been undertaken by drivers who take immense pains maintaining these vehicles which are of historical interest, and they are not running in haphazard ways.
        .
        When rallying the way they do here, they take pleasure in bringing some excitement to those who live in misery. And that misery is caused by corruption, which this couple will not do anything to boost. On the contrary, this video will demonstrate to many (including you, I’m sure Ajith, once you’ve read my reasoning here.) that the callousness of these politicians must be ended.
        .
        It’s the Mary and Martha story from the Bible, isn’t it?
        .
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_at_the_home_of_Martha_and_Mary

        • 1
          0

          There is far too much in bold lettering on this page. I’m attempting here to undo some of it.

      • 4
        0

        Dear Ajith,
        It is correct to say that the tourism industry alone cannot recover the Sri Lankan economy which has been looted forever by the Rajaksha gang.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQo9BjID9yE
        Although our media overestimates and praises the inheritage of the proud Sinhalese nation, it is now becoming clear that we are no such a race. In order to live up their racial fantasies, Rajapakshes sowed germs of hatreds against minorities, however, it was done being togetehr with mulisms and tamils.
        It is good on one hand to open the eyes of the stupid majority of this country. Truths should succeed in the end.

        At the moment, another mad dog but a Christian in Batticaloa is making every effort to allow the CROOK politicians to deceive the same gullible people and create a new kind of Easter Sunday disaster style conflict.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ5-sSFAQqU
        Why is Rev. Malcom Ranjith keeping his mouth shut today?
        I always said, ,there are two vicious ” MRs” in this country. One is produced by DA Rajapakshe and Wimal buruwanse the other is Rev. Malcome Ranjith.

        tbc

        • 4
          0

          cont.
          2
          .
          However, achieving 0.5 million tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2023 alone is a great winning compared to the decline level the country suffered 9 months ago. we must not overestimate, but these successes are real and they men have worked diehard for that. I m not supporting any parties, but I should be able to call a spade a spade regardless of being biased to anyone.
          .
          Normads like foreign Youtubers who travel across the world clearly see that Sri Lanka’s potential as a tourist destination is definitely higher than other regional destinations. They clearly state that developed nations should not spread their falsehoods about the country and the safety scaring the tourists dreaming to viist the island nation.
          .
          Our politicians do not seem to prioritize the needs of the time. If Tunisia, Turkey, UK and several other countries can earn billions through tourism, why not the naturally beautiful Sri Lanka?

          All I know today is that Sri Lanka really has a lot more to offer tourists who fall into the doldrums of Europe due to the unbearable winters. Unlike some othehr destinations in asia, srilanka remains still very cheap for the tourists.

          Tbc.
          – > 3

          • 3
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            cont.
            3
            The truth is clear to many as such is the cancerous state of the population of our island at social, moral and other levels.
            Some intelligent people think that things will be easier with better progressive thoughts. However it is not that easy. Imran Khan is NOT a corrupt politician in the region. However, he could not continue his politics in that mlechcha country. He has acquired all the wealth from UK to Pakistan. So he would not act like OUR BPs from Medamulana. However, he was framed by the highly corrupt mechanisms established in Pakistan.

            . Our role model, right before our eyes, the men and women of this “garbage dump” style island nation yet stand alone behind Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and his upcoming premiership. That will reveal more than anything else. How stupid they are. I think it is like a stagnant and polluted “Baira Lake”. It is so stinky. These are the facts about our people.
            .
            Gota WAS finally driven away to the manner animals were chased out of a place by the Aragalaya carried out by young people in this country. People can keep talking but they can not WALK the talk as we expect, in a country almost everyone is highly corurpted.

            > 4

            • 3
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              cont.
              4.
              AKD is no different from Wimal Weerawansa who was the propaganda machine of Mahinda Rajapaksa-racial- politics. If AKD to win the hearts and minds of the grass root level of the people, he should come the atributes such as ” being able to lick babies and little ones in public”, “lick bo-tree many times a month in public”… having a mustache and wearing a ” coloured loin cloth” around their neck. None of these are in RW, so he is being hated by people. That is so simple to understand….. Medamulana GOD FATHER of crimes used all these tactics on and on, to become that popular to punnaku eaters dominated majority.

              It will take decades for the stupid majority of this country to see it right. UNEDUCATED majority folks love galary kind of public speeches. Any filthy loads and attacks being thrown at decent politicians would become their “lyrics” of the day.

              I have no hope for it to be Singapore, I would be very happy if people including my family circle keep their heads up. That is Basta.

  • 9
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    Dear Mr wijewardana
    I have always enjoyed reading your articles. I agree with your ideas. If we had rational leaders like you at the helm we would not be in this situation in the first place.
    Unfortunately the so called leaders we have had are not only clueless about what need to be done to keep our country moving forward, they have exploited the stupidity of a large proportion of our people keep us in a downward spiral, they used it to steal the little wealth we had in our coffers.
    The dumb family of Rajapaksas along with similarly uneducated cronies used their village mentality to rob us blind. Rajapaksas are the biggest traitors we have had in Sri Lanka. They are the curse and the punishment for a bunch of racist citizens (sinhala buddhist public and the equally idiotic yellow pets) who chose look for the down fall of minorities and ourselves over the progress of the country as a collective.
    The day we wake up from this “crab mentality” we will stand a chance to turn things around.
    We must look at enemies of progress free from sentiment. We must get rid of these elements with extreme prejudice for a start, if Sri Lanka is to stand a chance to compete favourably with the rest of the world.

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      Very valid observations below by whywhy. I’m trying to undo some of that in your comment, whywhy.

      • 0
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        I was trying to undo some of the bold , and I have succeeded. This comment is because in the previous comment I forgot to include the word, bold.

  • 2
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    One sixteen year old girl FALLS naked to her death from a five storeyed building
    in Kalutara which is suspected as murder in this BEAUTIFUL country ! And
    already a man is remanded on suspicion . What a Beautiful Country ! Thee were
    also reports that the girl was SOLD OUT for just Twenty Thousand Rupees ! And
    then in another Beautiful Development , A well known MP’s Brother led Goons
    were reported to have Assaulted A Foreign Garment Manufacturer in Gampaha
    District and the Investor Was Getting Ready To Leave The BEAUTIFUL Island
    Nation When the Minister Responsible For Law and Order Begged him not to GO ,
    Under the Instruction of the President ! The Investor Blasted Off the BOI of
    Deceiving him on providing him an unsuitable location for his investment , in this
    Beautiful Country Where a Beautiful Man Called Ranil is the President Who did
    not have the Key For The Front Door To his Office ! The Whole World Recently and
    Only Recently Came to Realise that Countries Get Wonderfully Beautiful When
    They Get Bankrupt !

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