27 May, 2019

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History Of Hambantota, Mothers Who Were Worried About Their Sons And Now

By Charitha Ratwatte –

Charitha Ratwatte

On this, the first day of the first month of 2013, readers, in these times of doom and gloom, would without doubt appreciate a success story about a group of determined women from a district far away from the capital city, supported by a group of sensitive bureaucrats, who have successfully built themselves and their institution into a world class micro finance institution.

Hambantota District’s history

Time was when the Hambantota District was a quiet backwater in Sri Lanka’s Deep South. In ancient times, when the Kingdom of Ruhuna was in existence, it was a highly-developed area. Extensive cultivation of rice and other crops supported by an intricate water management system was the base of a highly developed Buddhist culture and civilisation.

The high standards of the hydraulic civilisation which existed in the Raja Rata at those times would have undoubtedly spread to southern Sri Lanka. The name Wel-Laksha (Wellassa), land of one hundred thousand paddy fields, gives a clue to this economic powerhouse.

The area was also a focus for the extraction and distribution of salt to the rest of the country. The dry climate was ideal for collecting sea water in vast areas of low lying land on the coast, and letting the water evaporate under the heat of the glaring sun. The salt distribution was the monopoly of Muslim traders who took salt by pack bull to the interior hills and bartered it for spices which they brought back to Magampura and exported. Research has shown that the development of Muslim communities in the interior of the island have been on this salt route inland, roughly a day’s march apart.

Similarly, before the advent of the Europeans, the Muslims held the monopoly of the internal trade in salt and the external trade in spices. It was a fleet which set out from the Portuguese enclave of Goa on India’s west coast – to hunt down some Muslim pirates who basing themselves in the Maldives harassed Portuguese vessels competing with the Muslim traders for the spice trade – that was caught up in a South West monsoon storm, damaged its masts and had to limp into Galle harbour to effect repairs, that brought the first Portuguese to this island.

Ancient Magampura (today’s Hambantota) was a harbour on the southern sea route from the west to the east – what has today been branded as the Spice Route. Indeed some historians argue that the name Hambantota is derived from ‘Sampan Thota’ – the harbour used by Chinese sea going Sampans which traversed the southern seas in the 1400s well before the European colonisers arrived.
A stone plaque at Galle records that Admiral Cheng Ho visited the Galle Port with his fleet at that time and kidnapped the local ruler and took him and his family back to China. Some time ago the descendants of that family visited Sri Lanka as guests of the Government.

International flavour of Southern Sri Lanka

The international flavour of Southern Sri Lanka can be measured by the fact that the Galle plaque is in four languages – Chinese, Persian, Arabic and Tamil. Even at that time Sri Lanka was clearly globalised.

An ancient carved edict on a rock near the ancient port of Magampura gives specific details of the tax revenue to be collected from imports and exports moving through the port, as prescribed by the ruler’s revenue department. It was certainly an emporium for international trade.

Ruins of ancient Buddhist religious buildings, some renovated, and antiquities recovered from archaeological sites in the area, provide a backdrop to the region’s rich cultural diversity. The prominent Muslim/Malay part of the population is said to be partly descended from seafarers from the Malay Archipelago who travelled through the Magampura port, and over time settled down.
The presence of a pre-existing Malay community prompted the British colonial Government to disband and settle soldiers of a Malay Regiment which had fought with the British in the Kandyan wars at Kirinda near Hambantota. After the arrival of the European colonialists, and the focus of the Galle harbour, Hambantota went into quiet decline.

The Portuguese and the Dutch were primarily interested in the spice trade and focused on the wet zone in the western part of Sri Lanka. Hambantota was an arid zone, located within the dry zone, and the interest of the colonials was mainly due to the salt pans, from which salt was extracted and distributed to the rest of the country.

The Portuguese and the Dutch, who were challenged by Muslim traders from West Asia in this spice trade, were keen to break the monopoly the Muslim traders had in the distribution of salt locally and to the Kandyan Kingdom.

The Portuguese and Dutch built and garrisoned forts at Bundala to guard the salt pans and control the internal trade. The British moved the garrison to Hambantota and built a Martello tower, overlooking the bay, which stands to this date as a look out post for enemy vessels. Martello, an Italian, had built similar towers on the British coast overlooking the British Channel, as a lookout for French ships during the Napoleonic Wars.

The British established the administrative centre of the District at Hambantota, situated the Kachcheri (revenue office), the court house, the Police station and other Government establishments in the town. A Customs post was also established. The Green Line, a round island ship service during colonial times, called at the Hambantota pier.

During the colonial years, Hambantota Distort went into gradual decline and the only industries of any capacity were salt extraction and the dairy industry and due to the large quantities of milk produced which could not be stored for marketing, a curd industry developed as the main cottage industry of the district. The brand Ruhuna ‘Meekiri’ or Ruhuna Curd is even today a product for which there is excellent brand recognition.

Leonard Woolf, a young British Assistant Government Agent in Hambantota, has written extensively on the district and its poverty. This is well reflected in his masterly novel ‘Village in the Jungle,’ which was later made into an award-winning film.

Hambantota was a stopover on the way for pilgrims travelling to the jungle shrine of Kataragama. Recently Hambantota has become a mega focus of development – international harbours, international airports, international conference centre, international cricket stadia, a venue for international sports competitions and a network of highly-developed highways, among other things.
As in Admiral Cheng Ho’s time, China is playing a big role again in the Deep South of Sri Lanka. The hitherto backwater of development is getting a major push into the globalised world of international trade. There is talk of an international free trade and manufacturing zone abutting the international harbour and the international airport.

A remarkable event

Long before all this, when Hambantota was still a poor district with social indicators well below the national level, at the height of the 1989 insurrection in the south, a remarkable event was kindled.
A group of mothers, who were worried about their young sons and daughters who were caught between a group of vicious terrorists fighting the Government and Government Police and soldiers who were waging an equally vicious campaign to wipe out terrorism, appealed to some senior Government servants serving in the district to assist them to build up their collective capacity to secure their lives of their children and develop their families.

At that the time, around 1988, the Government had launched a major poverty alleviation program called Janasaviya, based on two legs. The official Government Janasaviya program based on a hand out of funds and social mobilisation component by the Janasaviya Department of the Government on the one hand; and the Janasaviya Trust Fund (JTF), a apex funding agency – supported by the World Bank, UNDP, Germany’s KFW and other donors – which worked through civil society partner organisations, on the other.

The district had some capacity development instilled into its poor, through an extensive Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) implemented with the support of Sweden’s SIDA. Building on this capacity, the officials concerned formed the women who sought their help into small groups, and encouraged them to look at what steps they could first take within themselves as a Self Help Group (SHG).

This is the classic SHG model which has been highly successful in other parts of South Asia and also was the basis of the initial development of micro finance in Bangladesh by Nobel Prize winner Professor Mohammed Yunus’s Grameen Bank.

The officials used the mobilisation funds available from the official Janasaviya program to provide resources to the women’s SHGs. The funds handed out were used to generate a savings movement, and later the women within the SHG began to lend money among them from their group savings fund.
The officials, realising the opportunity offered by partnering the Janasaviya Trust Fund (JTF), encouraged the women’s SHGs to formalise their informal arrangement by federating the SHGs into the Hambantota Women’s Development Federation (WDF).

The micro financing aspect of the operation, which had now collected funds centrally and had begun making advances to the SHGs in addition to the SHG members transacting their own funds, was organised into Janashakthi Banku Sangam, or Association of People’s Power. The WDF became a partner organisation of the JTF.

The Janashakthi Banku Sangam became an implementing partner of the JTF’s credit fund, one of the most efficient. The WDF itself was involved in the other development windows of the JTF, the Social Mobilisation Fund, the Nutrition Fund and the Community Projects Fund. The WDF responded heroically to a challenge thrown to them by the founder Managing Director of the JTF, at one of the Annual General Meetings of the WDF – that ‘if they perform and show results, the JTF will be unstinting in their support’. The WDF was one of the most effective partner organisations of the JTF, continuing its relationship even after the JTF name was changed to the National Development Trust Fund (NDTF) and even when the Credit Fund was transferred to the Sri Lanka Savings Bank, after the poverty alleviation project ended, the relationship still survives.

Outstanding performance

The WDF and the Janashakthi Banku Sangam is today one of the most formidable and efficient instruments for empowering women in Sri Lanka. As at 31 October 2012, it had a membership of 61, 948 women.

The number of Women’s Society SHGs is 1,176. The number of Janashakthi Banku Sangam branches is 149. The number of clients to which the Janashakthi Banku Sangam provides micro finance program services is 99,285. The total value of shares in the enterprise purchased by members is Rs. 72,920,352. Depositors have invested Rs. 503,430,218 in the enterprise.

The number of active borrowers from the Janashakthi Banku Sangam’s micro finance program is 23,724. The total loan portfolio of the Janashakthi Banku Sangam is Rs. 627,245, 691. Of this only 2.55% are overdue over 30 days, all other repayments of loan instalments are on time. The surplus of income over expenditure in 2100 was Rs. 24 million. The assets, Rs. 1,142 million. Total liabilities for 2011 were Rs. 511 million.

This is an outstanding performance and profile for women from, what was at one time one of the most underdeveloped areas of Sri Lanka, achieved in the timeframe of 1998 to 2012, a mere 14 years. Hambantota’s social indicators are also much improved.

Future outlook

What of the future? The first requirement is that the micro finance operation of the WDF through the Janashakthi Banku Sangam must be placed on a firm legal footing. For this, the draft legislation on setting up a regulatory framework for micro finance under the authority of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka must be enacted soon.

Once this is done and the WDF’s Janashakthi Banku Sangam is registered as a Micro Finance Institution, then the confusion over the legality of deposit taking brought about by the provisions of the Finance Business Act of 2012 will be cleared and the Banku Sangam will be on a firm legal footing.
The second would be enhancing the WDF’s capacity to provide insurance services to its membership and to others. The poor remain poor mainly due to the fact that they are unable to cope with economic shocks – sudden unexpected events such as death, sickness, catastrophes such as floods, cyclones, fire, etc. The WDF has already a micro insurance scheme for its members. This insurance scheme covers: death of the borrower, permanent paralysis of the borrower, natural catastrophes like flood and drought, if the enterprise which has been set up by the loan is destroyed by fire, theft or robbery of the assets of the enterprise.

In the future the WDF should consider hiving off its insurance business into a separate entity, in compliance with the regulatory environment of insurance in Sri Lanka, get into a fully-fledged subsidiary which would focus on providing micro insurance to poor residents of the region to assist them to face up to various unexpected economic shocks which are the fundamental reason why people fall into or fall back into poverty.

The third step would be for the Janashakthi Banku Sangam to get into providing members with a Mobile Money Service. Given the penetration of mobile phone connectivity in Sri Lanka, without doubt over 75% of the membership must be connected. Mobile money services will provide them to undertake financial transactions without ever having to visit the branch. The legal framework for mobile money services is already in place in Sri Lanka; providers such as Dialog Axiata PLC are already providing it through their eZ cash window.

The fourth future step for the WDF would be to provide technical support to other women’s groups in and out of Sri Lanka who aspire to set up an institution such as theirs. This is already being done in a small way. But this service could be enhanced and developed and turn into an income generating enterprise, through the provision of consultancy services.

The success of the Janashakthi Banku Sangam of the Women’s Development Federation is an inspiration for all Sri Lankans; something of which we should be really proud. Self help, not dependency, is the way to go; it is important that the policy and legal framework must be supportive.

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Latest comments

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    Thanks for this! Basil Rajpassa’s grandiose empty Divi Neguma bill which is a TOP DOWN mechanism for Rajapassa to loot funds that belong to the poor is the opposite of the this women’s micro finance project that addressed poverty bottom-up.
    Unfortunately today neither Mahind Rajapassa nor Ranil Wickramasinghe has any interest in people-centered development (just like brain dead Basil the uneducated economic development minister who knows nothing about development or economics)
    The people are being taken for a ride by the UNP and UPFA who are in a partnership of dirty politicians to defraud the people of Lanka and loot the national wealth.

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      I think this is the reality today. God save the underprivileged people of Sri Lanka.

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        Yea, and when the poor fight, they are called terrorists
        Marxists are also called terrorists
        When rich kill (50 000 youth) that is grand
        So, capitalists and colonists are saints

        It is these poor Marxist terrorists who overthrew the rich and came to power in China, Russia, etc.
        Now without them we cant do anything.

        Buddism, Hinduism did not spread to South-East Asia with Muslims, Europeans or Chinese.
        So, we cannot downplay the role of the local mariners.
        Though now somewat murky, the ancient Abayagiri viharaya inscriptions have recorded such events, also evident in the Island’s coastal folk culture.

        Nearly all Lankans were Indian at some point, so pointless pin pointing.

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    Hambantota was a natural habour and Magampura capital of a thriving agricultural civilization. What happend to bring it down to the current status? I think it must have been the rise of Colombo to the detriment of Hambantota. The British developed Colombo due to the proximity to the plantations and shipping routes.

    Also I have a nagging feeling that maybe paddy cultivation results in the reduction of rainfall and change in weather patterns due to the clearing of rain forests. We see similiar climatic affects in Anuradhapura and Pollonaruwa which were once the granaries of Sri Lanka. The cutting of the beautiful trees in Colombo and suburbs too seems to be affecting the climate with more heat and less rain.

    Govt has planned to develop Hambantota with a top down approach by building the concrete infrastructure and trying to force/ entice industries to relocate. Essentially the natural method would be to develop the condition of the indigenous people and their livelihood, education, health etc. Improve the vegetation restore the climatic balance. Improve irrigation to store water and prevent floods etc Govt lopsided policy of trying to colonise Jaffna will result in the depletion of manpower in the South and lead to the decline of the South ass well.

    Human intervention and Govt policies do not always work without considering in the human aspects. The Jaffna farmer was able to develop due to sheer perseverance and hard work and cannot be replaced by building cantonments and using the army for agricultural work. The economics will not support such actions which will be superficial at the most. The support and nuturing of the local human capital is required wether it is in Colombo, Hambantota or Jaffna.

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    My understanding of Economics is that after budgeting for all expenses I must have something left at the end. Basil plans the money alloocated to Economic Dvelopment so well that at the end there is a huge balance left unspent or else at the begining he leave aside what will be left over atthe end. Isn’t he a super “Economist”?
    Srinath

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      May be Basil´s is also comparable to that of Mervin.

      Mervin handles almost everything with his below O/L qualifications. He was offering even to talk with the highly educated folks of the country – even on impeachment against CJ. Right at the moment, nobody would go against BR, Mervin, Srilanken Ambassador to the US (Jaliya). This has become familiar with the nation. The educated masses stay mum further having no other choice.

      Perhaps, no longer, MR will be capable of turning our nation fully like the North koreans. State media journlists will be offered free laptops and vehicles to white wash all evils so that the stupid village folks which are the majority can continuously vote for the criminals again and again. No need to criticise, but to do what MR and the co command them to do is what the regime expects. Our nation is not that far from becoming north koreans.

      Gone are the days lanken could enjoy democratic values. Ahead of us will be dark as no current opposition react properly.

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    Hambantota district was a Malay colony. In the legends, `Hamban` is popularly known as an ethnic group called `Malays` and `thota` means where those groups were landed. The Malay Muslims were also known as Hambayas. The other Muslims or Moors living in the other parts of the country were known as Marakkala. They were originally from Morroco who came as traders to Kerela and Tamil Nadu (married Tamil/kerela women) and later migrated to Sri Lanka for spice trade.

    If you see the Rajapakshe family (Basil, Gota, et al) they all look like Malays. They were actually Malays who got converted to Sinhala Buddhists and later adopted the Govigama caste.

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      Very likely. The Rajapakse family has dominant Malay features. However, the word ‘ Marakkala’ is likely derived from the Tamil word ‘Markkalam’ (wooden boat/ vessel) , by which they arrived on our shores.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        But as I am aware, malays in general are not killing minded as Rajapakshes have been.

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      The fact is that the Muslims who settled down in the South-Western and North-Eastern Coasts of Sri Lanka as traders were all Tamil speaking Muslims from the Malabar and Coromandal coasts of South India. This has been testified to by Marco Polo and by Barbosa in his account of the Island in 1519. Both these agree that large numbers of ‘Moors’ from the South Indian coasts resorted constantly to Sri Lanka. Barbosa speaks of their heads covered with handkerchiefs and of their earrings so heavy that they hang down to their shoulders. A handkerchief was necessary to cover their shaven crowns, while the earrings indicated most emphatically their South Indian origins. The Sri Lankan Moors lived primarily in coastal trading, preserving their Islamic customs and the South Indian language/culture.

      When the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka it was the ‘Moors’ who first organized resistance against them to safeguard the trade of the Moors along the Western sea-board. They encouraged and urged Bhuvanaike Bahu, the King of Kotte, and also Mayadunne and Vijayabahu (the brothers of Bhuvanaike Bahu), in turn, to oppose the Portuguese. During the Portuguese rule the Moors suffered widespread persecution, and many fled to the up-country and the Eastern-Coast. Professor Courtnay in his ‘History of Ceylon’, (pp. 13-14) says that had not the Portuguese come to Sri Lanka the entire Island would have come under the control of the ‘Moors’.

      “The affairs of Sri Lanka were at that time in a most critical condition. All the trade in the Island was in the hands of the Moors. The wealth which this had brought them rendered them powerful and gave them a great ascendancy over the native rulers. The arrival of the Portuguese saved the Sinhalese from the Moors becoming the rulers.”

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      Very true, I have attended several Muslim weddings during the 70s when I was in Sri Lanka. During the weddings, the Sri Lankan Moors (Muslims) used to wear the traditional hat that you will see all over Morocco. I am sure Morocco would have become Marakkala but as Dr R says it can also be Marakalam.

      On the other hand, as Jayantha said, the complexion, eyes, features, etc of Rajapakshe family (especially the 4 brothers) looks very similar to the Malays. If Hambantota was a Malay colony then definitely they have some Malay connection.

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        Are you referring to what was referred to in the past as ‘ Thambige thoppiya’- the red contraption with a tail at the back? This type of hat is of Turkish origin and was adopted in a number of Muslim countries, as Turkey was the leading country of Muslims at one time. The Egyptians including their Pasha wore it. It was used b the elite, political figures, Royalty and the ordinary folk on special occasions like weddings.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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          It is called ‘Fez’ (also a place name in Morocco).

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      from the beginning i was referring to those Jarapassa clan as Malabaries and i felt that,
      they have the most selfishness with them after looking at their faces.
      same look with that Kudu Wermin silva also

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      Hambantota district is not a Malay colony. Hambantota town is where Malay people live. Are you going to Say kaluthara district is a marakkala colony just because muslims live in Beruwala.
      Rajapaksa is from Madamulana in weerakatiya which is about 35 miles from Hambantota.

      Hambantota district is a vast area stretch from Dickwella to katharagama and bordering Rathnapura, Hakmana and Diniyaya.

      Rajapaksa family migrated from Mathara to Madamulana in recent history.

      I am not a fan of Rajpaksa family just beause you do not like them do not give wrong interpretations

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        Rohana,
        You are right, it is not Hambantota district but Hambantota town. Here, we are talking about several centuries ago. At that time there were no districts.
        The word Hamban was derived from the Malay word Sampan. At that time it would have been a Malay colony or rather a Malay majority area even though today the Malays are a visible minority.

        Anyhow, if you see the Rajapakshe family members, they resemble more like the Malays rather than the Sinhalese. They have a very distinct Malay features. Down their family line there must be some strong Malay connection.

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      If someone closely look at Gota’s photographs closely, one will surly notice that Gota looks differently from others in the clan. Not only in the looks but also in other behavior, Gota is different, guess why????

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        Not only Gota but also Basil. I have seen several Malays very similar to Gota and Basil.

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          sorry…Janaka Fernando.

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          Me too…..I notice clearly…. But generally Malays are good, sociable and friendly people.

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          Only mother might know the secret.

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      Kerala is a South Western state in India whose main profession then was fishing…..and also use coconut milk for food preparation. Also their food preparation is similar to our western coastal type of food. Also appam, puttu, indi appam and fish as their favoutite foods. Also many keralas are catholics and Christians.

      I think as Jayantha Fernando say…..when kerala/Morroco people came to Sri lanka they perferred to settle in the coastal areas to do thier livelyhood which was fishing and trade. I think mostly they settled from Galle upto chilaw and whoever followed Muslim religion stayed that way and the catholic/ christian adopted Karawe Caste which could have originated from Kerala.

      Also Please read the following I copied from Google when I typed ….Karawa caste.

      More Karavas fishermen claim to settle in Sri Lanka as independent migrants and settlers from invading armies of Pandya, Chola, and Kalinga from the Kuru-Mandala coast (i.e. The region of the Kurus) stretching across Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

      Pandya kingdom in 1250
      The capital of the Pandyan Kingdom was Korkai before it was shifted to Madurai. Madura in the south was sometimes called Dakshina Madura (Southern Madura) to differentiate it from the northern Uttara Madra….cont…google..

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    YOU MAY CALL THESE AREAS AS SAMPAN, HAMBAN, MARAKKAKAYA, HAMBAYA AND SO ON. AT THE END OF THE DAY THEY ARE A FAMILY OF MORONS AND MONGOLS WITH A TRAIT OF DOWNS SYNDROME RUNNING IN THEM. I BET THEY WILL PISS AND SHIT ON THEIR OWN MOTHERS GRAVE WITHOUT ANY RESPECT AT ALL.

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      Danny Boy.
      I am not really sure ….but I also herd that ex.President JRJ also could have had some Muslim ancestral roots. His face and features resembles somewhat Muslim features.
      Anyway JR brought 17th Amendment….and MR brought 18th amendment…..similarities shown.

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    How apprpriate that the Chinese, who found this magnificent harbour are now bringing it back into use and glory in a mega manner.under the guidance of the new version of Dutugemunu,the best Sinhala Buddhist king our inhabitants ever had.

    All our Colonian Masters and their loyal followers did to this historical place was, to run it down to abject poverty,from its pinnacle as a major trading post.

    Micro Banking and Finance to help the rural poor, whom by the way are nearly 75 % Buddhist Sinhala populace, will florish under the prosed Divinegum.

    The unholy camping of the ex LTTE suppoter base,JVP liberators,Black coats of Hultsdorp and the Colombo Elite in one Tent,is a clear sign that this Divineguma must be good for this great majrity of 75%.as well as the country in general.

    One bit of advice for the cheer squad here,

    If CJ wants to have any chance at the Political Main Event, she sould persuade her heavy weight mining magnate BIL to park his spare Millions in Janashakthi Banking Sanhgam.

    That will go very well with the Magampurians when she takes the stage at the new stadiunm , although it was built with Chinese money.

    She may even dislodge the Prince in waiting of her Elitist faction.

    With the Divineguma in place. BIL will have an iron clad guarantee that his deposit will be safe,when he need the dough, for dining out and play golf while staying at the Trillium.

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      KING GEMUNU WAS NOT A LOOTER LIKE JARAPASSSA.

      WE WILL SEE WHAT IS HAPPENNING WITH DIVINESUMA.
      ANOTHER LOOTING GILMAAT.?

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      K.A.Sumanasekera,

      I think you are looking at the world with a pair of dark glasses. The reason is you have already analysed and crucified an issue or a person even before looking at the facts and figurs to justify it.

      please look at any issue on a balanced mind or….otherwise you will never become a gentleman…..or gentle….man.

      Choice is yours.

      As you go through the comments re.CJ impeachments you will note that most of them agreed that PSC was a kangaroo court and today the appeal’s court proved it.

      Therefore I tell that you have freedom to express your views….but to express them with necessary facts and figure on a balanced mind to prove them will be helpful.

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      K.A. Sumanasekera,

      I don’t know whether you read my previous long comment regarding MR mishap on the three projects in Hambantota (Airport, Harbour and the stadium). I can’t write it again with that detail….but please remember I tell you today that these three projects are the biggest environmental disasters in the history of Sri Lanka. Not only that these three projects are going to be the most expenseve and loss making white elephent projects but also going to be a burden for our children who are going to pay in future. They are going to be much more worse than Mihin and Air lanka combined…

      With MR as long as he stay in power he is going to cover them under…but they are going to be another desert gathering dust in future.

      ***** Remember me in 5 years time what I told today.

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    Chari,

    Well researched article especially on the historic foundation of Hambantota.Enlightening.
    I think it was GA Hambantota Mr. Mithraratna who gave lot of life to the womens’ banking system you discussed. I believe he wanted to go on similar lines of Grameen and his mentor was Prof Yunoos.
    It may be nice if someone looks at a similar exercise undertaken in a wayward place in Anuradhaoura District where similar steps were taken for women development through microfinance. I remeber such womens’ activities were in Galle District among coir producing women. Do not know whtether they are in existence. I think there were several of these new approaches in different places.
    Rather than centralizing microcredit activities it is best that Minster Basil Rajapaksa focusses on this type of successfgul exercises to alleviate poverty. Has he got the ear for such?

    Happy New Year to you.
    Austin

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      Austin,

      I fully agree with you, I think these type of specially women empowered Micro Financing projects not only put into use unused labor, but also generates skill, employment and thereby contributes tothe economy.

      These are the types of areas where the poorest class been served while contributing to our economy…..and not the show off Gam Udawa etc…etc…

      Also there are some NGO’s who work on these microfinance development projects in Galle and Anuradhapura areas.

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    as a former govt agent who loved people in this vastly neglected district by former regimes I am personaly glad to hear that Hambantota is getting right royal treatment which its people deserve under the present president

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