16 June, 2024

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NPP’s Visit To India & Learning From India’s Success

By Vipula Wanigasekera

Dr. Vipula Wanigasekera

The recent visit of the leader of the NPP to India has garnered significant attention due to his high-profile meetings and discussions focusing on exploring Indian models for development strategies, particularly in poverty alleviation, state administration, energy reforms, agriculture and water management, infrastructure enhancement, industrial growth, investment, healthcare, and women’s empowerment. Colombo Telegraph has carried a couple of opinions already and here is another perspective.

The JVP’s pragmatic strategies for development while honoring the debts (should they come into political power), remain subject to further discussion, but the crucial takeaway lies in understanding India’s successful practices that have propelled her into an economic giant in the globe which need to be fully comprehended by Sri Lankan politicians aspiring to take over in the future.

Sri Lanka has plunged into economic and political destruction where long standing parliamentarians are said to be incapable of reenacting the system into a growth mode. The analysists can write books on the root causes. This sentiment has overshadowed the historical context of the JVP’s involvement in the events in 1971 and 1988 through which the JVP had been sidelined except for a short period of a collision Government, experience of which has probably made them shunning away from partnership unless they are forced to do so.

However, the JVP appears to have re-emerged from the 3% obscurity, demonstrating a learning curve over time and gaining traction among various segments of the population, particularly women, as a possible political alternative. India seems to have recognized this trend more than any other country, apart from the USA and China. The objective of this piece is to underscore the importance of understanding the key drivers behind India’s sustained economic growth over the last two decades.

India’s economy has developed significantly during the past ten years, marked by strong growth, structural changes, and sectoral diversification. This change has been fueled by a number of variables, making the nation’s growing economy one of the fastest in the world.

Comprehending these elements is essential to understanding India’s economic development and its outlook. It is in this context why JVP leader’s visit to India seems crucial knowing that India’s geopolitical strategy for Sri Lanka needs to be understood, not to mention the fact that unlike in the 80s, India too has learnt lessons where Sri Lanka’s wellbeing would be in their best interest too.

India has implemented significant economic liberalization policies, such as deregulation, privatization, and fiscal reforms, since the early 1990s. The business environment has been improved and has drawn both domestic and foreign investments because to reforms including the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the simplification of tax structures, and improvements in the ease of doing business.

India’s economy has been supported by her sizable and youthful population. The nation benefits from a strong labor force, which boosts productivity and consumption-led growth, with a median age of about 28 years. The demographic dividend has been amplified by investments in education and skill development, which have also promoted entrepreneurship, innovation, and a knowledge-based economy.

The internet’s widespread use, the emergence of e-commerce platforms, and the spread of digital technology have completely changed India’s economic environment. Particularly in rural areas, initiatives like Digital India, which promote digital literacy, online governance, and digital payments infrastructure, have made it easier to access services and encouraged financial inclusion.

Increasing economic growth and competitiveness has depended heavily on investments in infrastructure, which includes energy, transportation, and urban development. Trade, investment, and industrialization have been supported by projects like Bharatmala for road development, Sagarmala for port-led growth, and programs to improve connectivity through trains and airports.

Thanks to a supportive government framework known as Startup India, a culture of innovation, and easy access to venture capital, India’s startup ecosystem is expanding rapidly. Startups across a variety of industries, including as technology, healthcare, and finance, have boosted economic vibrancy, global competitiveness, and job creation.

The transformation of rural economies has been greatly aided by agricultural reforms that seek to increase production, infrastructure, and market access. The Soil Health Card Scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), and the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) have improved farmer income and agricultural efficiency.

India’s engagement in international value chains, trade agreements, and FDI have all contributed to its economic progress by bringing it closer to the global economy. Resilience and competitiveness have increased as a result of export diversification outside traditional industries like IT and textiles and into industries like pharmaceuticals, automotive, and engineering.

It’s obvious that Sri Lanka cannot copy paste India’s strategies due to fundamental demographic disparities. However, it’s prudent to seek guidance on policy implementation, as Sri Lanka’s historical challenges have always stemmed from execution rather than policy itself. The JVP’s decision to humbly engage with India reflects astute diplomacy, even as they maintain their stance on scrutinizing Indian interest in Sri Lanka.

*Write is former Diplomat, Tourism Official and Currently a lecturer for ECU

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Latest comments

  • 9
    5

    I wou have been much happier if AKD had visited Tamilnadu and Kerala, which are our closest neighbours, instead of Gujarat.
    Tamilnadu’s per capita income is 275,582. INR, Kerala’s is 2,28,767 INR, and Gujarat is 2,50,100.
    AKD could learn more from TN than from Gujarat. Perhaps the JVP’S past Tamil-phobia has not subsided yet?

    • 5
      1

      OC,
      .
      Please watch this below
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8WIqj8–LI

      She confirmed that it was 3-city viist planned by them.

      • 7
        1

        Here is another video that gives some more speculative ideas.
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbhzBGweigc

      • 6
        2

        LM,
        She doesn’t say which cities. I hope Chennai is one.
        Dr. Harini is very persuasive that the JVP can be trusted. She even agrees that only India came forward to give us a 4 billion USD facility during the crisis (which Ruchira says was nothing special). She talks about the JVP being for private enterprise, or at least not being against it. Even I could vote NPP if that was all there was to it. But the reality on the ground is different. While Dr. H makes nice noises, the JVP unions raise hell, disrupting education and public services , while making life hell for employers. Which is the real JVP?

        • 4
          1

          OC. Their private enterprise won’t involve American type capitalism at a time of Great Depression on Lankan soil. The private universities with student loans for rich students is a no-no, especially when the ordinary struggling masses have no access for such enhanced education, or even to eat (and that’s no excuse to prevent Rich students from utilizing the accumulated wealth of the motherland to go to universities in the West….such accumulation of wealth will be taxed). Once the country is on a sound footing, they will reconsider such private enterprise.

          • 3
            1

            ramona

            Could you type either in English or Sinhala.

        • 5
          1

          Dear OC,
          .
          NPP MP, Dr Amarasooriya is infantile. As we know she is academic. Academics in lanken politics are like a square peg in a round hole.
          She is qualified and good but I find her thoughts sometimes are naive. So she will be a prisoner in JVP outfit.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv7i0IKQepE

        • 3
          1

          Hello OC,
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN7d1tCWjeA
          .
          AKD is said to have met with a minister in Kerala.

          • 1
            0

            LM,
            Yes, it seems he has visited Kerala, because it has a Communist government.

        • 6
          1

          old codger

          “Which is the real JVP?”

          It is the combination of Union and Old Guards who secretly still believe in their old Wijeweera’s old and failed revolution.

          I believe there are too many little Pol Pots among the old guards and Trade union activists.

          Some of the old guards still believe in their party’s original ideology Sinhala/Buddhist Marxist/Leninist crap.

          The danger is with the brainwashed young kids.

        • 0
          6

          Hello OC – Did I say its nothing special? I can’t remember. What I can remember saying is that the credit line, which is a part of the so called emergency economic assisstance worth of 4 billion dollars, came with the condition that we use it to purchase goods from India. Nothing spectacularly generous about it I presume. In fact as far as the importation of medicines made under this credit line, has been marred with many irregularities and contraversies, that has finally resulted in the arresting of former Minister of Health for allegedly being responsible. Lives have been lost due to poor quality medicines imported. I am not suggesting Indian government is responsible for these irregularities, but curious to know if the conditions stipulated in the credit line had anything to do with them. Particularly the recently exposed Human Immunoglobulin scandal.
          .
          TBC

          • 0
            7

            Continued…
            .
            “India provided about $4 billion in rapid assistance between January and July, including credit lines, a currency swap arrangement and deferred import payments,….”
            .
            Full report here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/india-spent-billions-in-aid-for-sri-lanka-how-this-can-now-help-counter-china-101672148555797-amp.html
            .
            It’s not like India gave 4 billion USD charitable donation. And the above article clearly states the objective/s behind India’s generous act.
            .
            Overall it is to counter China’s involvement in Sri Lanka by increasing India’s foot print in the Sri Lankan economy. Below are some of the ways with which India seems to be doing it according to the same report.
            .
            TBC

            • 1
              6

              (1) India plans to increase its overall investment in Sri Lanka.
              .
              (2) To this end Indian companies may get invetment opportunities:
              – (a) without being subjected to competitive bidding
              – (b) whenever there is competitive bidding specifications in calls for bidding could be fixed to favour predetermined Indian bidders
              – (c) Both of which are notoriously practiced by GOSL by ensuring the process not being transparent and lacking information about them in the public domain.
              -(d) Adani’s investment for example in Colombo Port and Proposed renewable energy project I believe are examples.

              TBC

              • 1
                4

                -(e) Both give India strategic advancements within Sri Lanka as well as against Chinese involvement.
                – (f) In addition Adani’s extraordinary rise to success has been contraversial to say the least. It is alleged to have been engaged in corrupt practices. Involvement of a such company in key strategically important areas of our economy may have repurcussions that are not so obvious.
                -(g) Same dynamics may play favouring India (against China) when it comes to securing investment for the development of Trincomalee harbour.
                .
                As a result:
                – Our economic freedoms may get compromised.
                – So is our non-aligned foreign policy
                – There may be other hidden impacts and costs that are sociopolitical in nature.
                .
                I also said there are no free lunches and above are some ways in which we may have to pay back India in kind to India with long term repurcussions to us.
                .
                Telecom sector is another such area. Let me know if you want me to elaborate.

                • 5
                  1

                  Ruchira,
                  “Our economic freedoms may get compromised.
                  – So is our non-aligned foreign policy
                  – There may be other hidden impacts and costs that are sociopolitical in nature”
                  Just tell me, what advantages have any of the above given us in 76 years?
                  Let me be open. I am all for close economic integration with India, EU style. What’s wrong with having a steady and predictable currency, onions for 25 rupees, eggs for 7, chicken for 120, milk tea for 10, and to top it all, 180 units of electricity for 600?
                  You may check all that out on the net.
                  You complain about bad governance and economics here. But you refuse to see the solution.

                  • 1
                    6

                    OC – on the matter of importation of medicines and Immunoglobulin I don’t think you correctly followed my concern.
                    .
                    On the matter of refusing to give any credit to India for helping out with 4B USD – Yes you may regard it as meanness of spirit. In fact you don’t have to be that kind. You could even regard it as Chauvunistic Racism of the kind that is most referred to here.
                    .
                    On the matter of importation of essentials from India. I have no objection in absolute sense.
                    .
                    Yes you are right and I must congratulate you for correctly identifying that my complaint is primarily about the disingenuous local leaders not necessarily of India.
                    .
                    As far as solutions are concerned I see quite few and that has been a curse and that is a discussion outside the scope the one ongoing here.
                    .
                    It will be hard for you to get any credit or recognition of India’s role in matters that are Sri Lankan from me. I have reasons for that and they are personal.
                    .
                    We could agree to refer to it as meanness of spirit or like I said racism, and move on.
                    .
                    Nothing personal everyone has their biases, prejudices, meanness in character or as some might like to refer as ego.
                    .
                    One man’s friend is another’s foe…

                    • 5
                      1

                      Ruchira
                      Every country bar none conducts its foreign affairs in its own interest.Even Sri Lanka, a Buddhist country, refuses to issue a visa to the Dalai Lama, because China is more important to SL than the Dalai Lama.It is up to recipients of favours too to use them in their own interest, or simply refuse to accept them. One cannot accept favours and then impute motives.

                • 5
                  1

                  Dear All,

                  Ruchira says
                  “It’s not like India gave 4 billion USD charitable donation. And the above article clearly states the objective/s behind India’s generous act.
                  .
                  Overall it is to counter China’s involvement in Sri Lanka by increasing India’s foot print in the Sri Lankan economy. Below are some of the ways with which India seems to be doing it according to the same report.”
                  .
                  .When nations are involved in foreign politics or bilateral and multilateral interactions, there are no free lunches.
                  All of this was very clear to RW and mature leaders a long time ago, but it is not clear to many who behave like a FROG-IN-A-WELL style mentality. Unfortunately, we are a country that has failed good and mature leaders for the future. We are totally disappointed with the behavior of Sajith Baba.

                  Those are the basics. What will be the consequence if India shows its backwardness like China did at a very crucial time without loving Indians? Why are we so cruel when we don’t see the truth?
                  Why should we argue with facts that are obvious even to babies? To waste time and destroy CT detection?

                  China was not even wanting to know of the unexpected political crisis in Sri Lanka, which they directly intervened in creating. There are speculations that RAJAPKSHES were funded by the Chinese for their comeback in 2019.

                  • 5
                    1

                    LM,
                    We don’t have to choose between India, China, or whoever. India probably did attach conditions, but are we in a position to complain? WE made ourselves bankrupt. In any case, wo are we to complain about others whe we left our own citizens stranded in the Middle East during the epidemic?

                    • 1
                      5

                      OC – “One cannot accept favours and then impute motives.”
                      .
                      I didn’t take any favours. It was the govt. I am no representive of the govt either. Infact I reject the govt. Therefore there’s no obligation from my part to treat India in a particular way because of the emergency funds given. It was a G2G matter – govt 2 govt. My personal views differ and my treatment to India is based on them. I neither represents ppl of the country or the govt of the country.
                      .
                      If you get a loan from a bank, there are conditions attached to it, like interests rate, period of repayment etc. The bank makes profit by giving the loan. My obligation is to pay it back. There’s no reason for me to revere the bank. It’s business. Nothing more nothing less. Same with India. Its just politics.

                    • 5
                      1

                      Dear OC,
                      How many Sri Lankans are aware the depth of the danger we are in today?
                      I think not even 10% of Sri Lanka’s population.
                      Why do they lag to see it right?
                      What prevents them from seeing the truth? and facts ?
                      Isn’t that their conditioned mindset ? or genetics ?
                      Be they journalists of Sirasa, Derana or Hiru or similar TV channels, they are not qualified enough to do their job of guiding people properly to the best of their abilities.
                      MEDIA MAFIA is the main reason, people to stay not improving their awareness.

                    • 1
                      4

                      OC – If there are motives involved. Then it’s no favour to begin with!

          • 7
            1

            Ruchira,
            I have pointed out elsewhere that the fake immunoglobulin was not imported from India. An Indian brand name was used to “manufacture” it in Seeduwa. You should know that, even if Indian firms make cheap or low quality drugs, they don’t sell distilled water as medicine.
            https://www.dailymirror.lk/print/front-page/Substandard-Human-Immunoglobulin-scandal-Owner-refuses-to-cooperate-with-NMRA-CID-officials-during-plant-visit-Police-Spokesman/238-274694
            “It’s not like India gave 4 billion USD charitable donation.”
            Which other country gave us 4 billion dollars without any strings? I presume you have heard of “looking a gift horse in the mouth”? The point is that at that particular time, India did send emergency food and financial aid to a bankrupt neighbour who had run out of options. Denying that implies a certain meanness of spirit.
            As to favouring Indian bidders, you ignore the fact that other investors do the same. British contractors got priority in the Mahaweli project. Japanese for their projects, and even Chinese labour for highways.

            • 4
              1

              OC,
              Coming from the background, I would say that if something was marketed as a medical drug and Wilkurlich tested it on human subjects, those directly or indirectly involved in that business should be punished according to international law valid after Germany’s Nuremberg Trials. WW2.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_trials
              Before introducing a medical drug or medical component (stents, rings or surgical instruments etc.) into the market for free use, researchers prevent them being accessed to their research stages. This is held very strict with national and international laws. According to the results of the tests, the process takes 5-7 years per one drug /device. This is the reason why we are not yet accessed to a true “pharmaceutical drug treatment” against the global pandemic COVID 19.
It exploded at the end of 2019. That means some anti-Covid-19 drugs could hit the market sooner. . .
.If former health minister Keheliya had intervened in the irregularities mentioned, by using his executive powers, I don’t think the death penalty should NOT be the case.
:
This is an area where strict laws apply not only to Sri Lankans but globally. IN COMPLIANCE with GCP guidelines. Unfortunately, in the case of Sri Lanka, I see an increasing number of anomalous, punishable bevorries in this branch: ´lACK of knowledge in the field, they just play with human subjects.

            • 1
              5

              OC – “I have pointed out elsewhere that the fake immunoglobulin was not imported from India.”
              .
              I know that.
              .
              Do you know how a credit line work? I don’t – that’s what I was trying to get at.

              • 3
                1

                Ruchira,
                A credit line, even from the local grocery, means you can buy stuff from THEM and pay later. It’s the same with countries. You buy THEIR stuff and pay later. Of course it gives the donor a captive market, but the recipient gets his stuff on credit.
                In the case of India, people assume that it is the FTA that skews the trade balance in their favour. But the fact is that it is big-ticket items like cars and heavy vehicles (outside the FTA) that do it. Why do we have to buy Indian buses and other vehicles? Because they are the ones we can afford. We don’t have the money to do otherwise. Facts are stubborn.

    • 9
      1

      Perhaps, that’s the case!!?? Although they would never admit but DEFLECT!!! SUCH HAS BEEN CASE since 1931 and 1948!!!???

    • 8
      3

      old codger

      “I wou have been much happier if AKD had visited Tamilnadu and Kerala, which are our closest neighbours, instead of Gujarat.”

      He is scheduled to visit Kerala, not Tamilnadu perhaps their history, hatred, for their ancestors and jealousy of their achievement, feeling of shame stop them from visiting Tamilnadu.

  • 2
    9

    “India has implemented significant economic liberalization policies, such as deregulation, privatization, and fiscal reforms, since the early 1990s. “

    But it cannot convince a company like Tesla to build a single car factory there. Apple has maybe one factory there. China is still superior in terms of human capital, infrastructure, and taxation. The “smart” Sri Lankan strategy would be to find out why foreign companies stay away from India and then do the opposite.

    • 9
      1

      Liar Lester,
      There are over 20 vehicle factories in Tamilnadu alone, including some which don’t operate in China. There more than 100 parts suppliers.
      Why are Chinese car companies setting up in India.?

      • 2
        7

        China has more than 400 EV car manufacturers. India has around 35 car manufacturers.This is from an Indian: “India has extremely small car penetration because of governments archaic tax laws(especially the egregiously stupid 4m law) which make cars really unaffordable. That combined with our low incomes and non existent middle class make india a really hard ground for manufacturers to thrive, experiment and make money for RnD and abroad expansion.”

        We know you think India is a superpower because of rice exports from TN. The truth is, India is so backwards, Modi’s campaign pledge was to build more toilets. This is a fact. If you like India so much, go live there.

        • 8
          0

          Lester

          “China has more than 400 EV car manufacturers. India has around 35 car manufacturers.”

          What is your point if there is one?

          ” If you like India so much, go live there.”

          If you like China so much why aren’t you and your fellow Chionophiles living in China, including SJ, but begging India to bail the country out. Only recently NPP started enjoying Hindian hospitality.

          FYI
          Excerpts:
          COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s government allocated money to build toilets in over a quarter million homes Tuesday, under an ambitious project to flush out the practice of “open defecation” within a year.

          The latest official figures show that nearly 15 percent of the 21 million population have no access to toilets and classified as “open defecators,” or those using the open environment to relieve themselves.

          Sri Lanka’s toilet trouble: finance minister pledges millions to resolve a very dirty issue
          https://www.arabnews.com/node/1461736/world#:~:text=The%20latest%20official%20figures%20show,open%20environment%20to%20relieve%20themselves.

          Lester when you visit Sri Lanka do you use “open defecation”?
          Do you have facilities for “open defecation” wherever you live ,as a Lanky you must be longing for a space?

          • 2
            8

            Native,

            Have you visited India? If not, then you won’t understand. From the train itself, you can see people outside defecating. I have never seen that in Sri Lanka. Check TripAdvisor, foreigners say Sri Lanka is much cleaner than India.

            “Sri Lanka in general is cleaner than pretty much anywhere in South Asia and a lot of South East Asia except Singapore and Malaysia. I’ve also traveled to Latin America and the Caribbean a few times and find that outside of tourist areas, a lot of those countries are less clean than Sri Lanka. ” Jan 6, 2024

            “We were prepared to have the Ganges River dirty and busy, but it beat all our expectations, in a negative way. We have been to many developing world countries, and been to India before this trip. Varanasi was the dirtiest place we have ever been!”The small alley type streets down to the river are very dirty, with cow poop everywhere. We knew the Ganges was polluted, but the trash and filth in the river was overwhelming.” Date of experience: February 2017

            The problem in India is overpopulation. Combined with the fact that most people are vegetarians and let animals roam everywhere.

            • 5
              1

              Lester,
              Sri Lanka may be clean in places, but India is also clean in places. Have you ever visited the enclosed apartment complexes in any Indian city? Of course not.
              The Ganges is only one river. Why not talk about the backwaters in Kerala, which draw more tourists than Sri Laka?
              You talk about excrement in the street, but it is there even in parts of Colombo, which would be below your dignity to visit. I live in SL, remember. One thing is that Indian buses aren’t full of beggars.

              • 6
                1

                OC,
                .
                “You talk about excrement in the street, but it is there even in parts of Colombo, which would be below your dignity to visit. I live in SL, remember. One thing is that Indian buses aren’t full of beggars.”

                Thank you OC. Beaches near to Kaluthara and Negombo are filled iwth all dirts. I saw them by my own eyes last November.
                -Mount lavinia is no better. People are idling not doing anything but waiting govt to do the job for them. That is why i see them as real 2-leged beasts.

                Some euroepans keep criticising LONDON being very dirty whenver they get there. Hotels of normal nature are not world standards etc.

                For some of them, south asian denstinations are just heaps of garbage only..

                Not only europeans but japanese, koreans and taiwanese are telling that to lankens. I know it very well since I have been working with over 50 nationalities.
                ..
                Some in europe are exaggeratingly fear of cockroaches being in some house stays in sl, going by the myth, that cockraoches are the only insects that spread germs. In fact, insect ofv aried nature are a delicate bite in south east asian countries (Thailand, Korea and Taiwan or the like countries).

                • 5
                  1

                  cont.
                  OC,

                  However, Lester should not compare a country whose size is 60 times bigger compared to srilanka wiith over 1400 millions of population to be clean everywhere. At least 400 millions of indians live like rich europeans in that country.
                  He boasts of having seen the world, but to comparisons of this nature proves that his little head would not be subjected to any further evolution, even if his eyes would have been seen a diversity of the world.

                  • 1
                    6

                    Leela,

                    You keep ignoring the evidence. If foreigners say Sri Lanka is significantly clean, then it’s probably true, as they have no personal bias.

                    From England: “Much much much better than India, mostly on par with Thailand, but of course there are always exceptions.”

                    From Toronto: “Most hotels and restaurants catering to tourists generally have decent hygiene standards. Public washrooms in cities – generally avoid those. Sri Lanka is much cleaner than India for sure.”

                    They complain about the street food and public bathrooms in Sri Lanka. I agree that these can be of low quality if one is not a native. The problem in India is not just lack of sanitation, it is the poor infrastructure. For example, Colombo has much better roads and pavements than a city like Bangalore, India. Bangalore is supposed to be some IT miracle, but the air quality is so poor that you have to wear a mask outside. Crossing the road on foot is hell. You have to run because there is no guarantee people obey the traffic lights. If you are driving or on a motorbike, people don’t follow lanes, they weave in and out.

              • 2
                6

                OC,

                A shanty town in SL is nothing compared to a slum in India. Sri Lanka has issues (corruption, poverty, etc.) but filth is not one of them. Here is a fun fact about your precious Kerala: “Like the rest of India, the lower castes touching the upper castes was termed as “pollution,” but only in Kerala did the lower castes pollute not just by touch but also by merely approaching an upper caste.” If this is your idea of “development”, go for it.

                • 5
                  1

                  Lester
                  Lying again? You really think nobody else is smart enough to find out where you get your smart quotes from? And do you think presenting the situation in 1910 as present-day is honest.? Why didn’t you present THIS passage from the same Wiki page?
                  “Throughout post-independence India, including in Kerala, there exists a framework of reservation which is fluid in nature and attempts to recognise the socio-economic disparities between various castes. “
                  Still, the point is that ,even with alleged dirt, pollution, etc. Kerala alone gets 15 million tourists. Maybe cowdung attracts tourists? You ought to export the stuff you work with to SL.
                  https://www.onmanorama.com/travel/travel-news/2023/11/14/kerala-tourism-pa-mohamed-riyas-domestic-tourists.amp.html

                  • 2
                    2

                    Old Codger,

                    Kerala had 1 million foreign tourists and 15 million ****domestic**** tourists in 2018. I am not sure why you think 15 million domestic tourists in a population of 1 billion has any significance. Are you really that slow?

                    https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1363491/travel

                    Caste is big business in India. You won’t understand it because you live among Sinhalese who don’t practice it. I understand it because I deal with Indians regularly. If you put 20 random Indians in a room, they will separate themselves by language, then region, then caste. You think “reservation” can fix a 3000 year old problem, again, that just shows you are out of your league (as usual).

                    You should import some Prozac to your brain cells, it will help to minimize the delusions of non-existent Indian grandeur. When you are sane, you can enjoy the film “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” starring Akshay Khanna, which is about improving sanitation in India.

          • 5
            1

            My dear NATIVE VEDDA,
            “Lester when you visit Sri Lanka do you use “open defecation”?”
            I could not stop laughing dear. .
            .. if not for you, Old Codger and SJ, I would no thave come to comment on this forum. ::::.I thank you for the few that see it right and make every effort to open the blurred eyes of the masses.
            .
            this time, I thought, what goes through the little brains of our primitive people though found greener pastures in London or US ? They compare the lives of 1400 millions with that of 22 millions.

            . Remember, MR’s former JOINT-OPPOSITION rally held in colombo during good governance to show their power – there too, there were enough reports, that those VILLAGE PRIMITIVE thugs had left their ASUCHI on the roads of colombo, like the dogs would do.

            • 3
              7

              Poor Leela, you can’t see the irony when a “vedda” asks about “open defecation.” Leela, you need to improve your English skills. Ask SM for a few lessons. His English is perfect. By the way, Gotha did excellent work beautifying Colombo. I remember it was so ugly during CBK’s time.

              • 8
                0

                Lester

                “Gotha did excellent work beautifying Colombo”

                Premadasa did a better job with meagre resources than other donkeys, built 1000000 houses.

                • 0
                  7

                  Native,

                  Hindians are shocked by the cleanliness of Sri Lanka. They are writing about it in their media outlet , “Hindustan Times.”

                  “But Sri Lanka turned out to be a better, cleaner experience. Its beaches and water bodies were clean. The roadways had no potholes. The rail tracks and public toilets smelled different. Travelling over a 1,000 km in the island country, I didn’t see anyone urinating by the roadside or littering trash.”

                  “What struck me most was the level of cleanliness in Colombo and Kandy, two of Sri Lanka’s largest and most crowded cities. There were no mounds of putrefying garbage or overflowing drains typical of any Indian city.”

                  Hindians figured out how to land on the moon, but cleanliness eludes them. If you ask me, it’s the casteism. If you force someone to live in poverty, why do you care if they are clean or dirty?

                  • 6
                    1

                    Let Lester’s little head get a wider knowledge of world affairs than hanging in lanken developements ruined by medamulana beasts.

                    Ethiopia used to be the poorest nation on earth until a few years ago, but today we buy vegetables and flowers and other small items made in ETIHOPIA in Germany, France and other countries. They are open to Chinese and European investments today ithout being feared as before. There are no such like JVP-NPP internal forces to march with the trade unionists in that country standing on the way as is the case in srilanka.
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7sKb841DdQ

                    I think India is trying hard to tame srilanka’s radicalists aka JVP, knowing that we have the most demonstrators and nationalists in our country.

                    tbc

                    • 6
                      1

                      cont.
                      Out of those 76 years since independence, Janata Vimukthi Peramuna was active in politics for more than 60 years.
                      So they cannot be proud of being a pure party.
                      They should also be complicit in actively supporting the Rajapaksas, the racists and various nationalists again and again.

                      Some dare to say today JVPrs are cleaner than others but which is a bigger lie.
                      .
                      Misinterpretations are viral in Sri Lanka as usual and that is on a rise day by day. However, the small minority of us who use brains will read it correctly.
                      My wish is that people should use their brains that is what our people should be trained for.
                      .
                      I think all the parties JVP-NPP-UNP-SLPP-SLFP-CP should work together to face Chinese and Indo harassments at this critical stage of Sri Lanka’s economic collapse.

                      It is wrong to spread as a myth that all in one party are equally corrupted. That is good for build popularistic politics, but truth is each party has good and bad people. If we are powerful as a small nation, we can be the Switzerland of Europe.

                  • 6
                    0

                    Lester

                    “Hindians figured out how to land on the moon, but cleanliness eludes them.”

                    Why does it bother you?
                    Are you living there or do you intent to live in your ancestral homeland?

                    Have you been to Singapore, Thailand, …… and could you compare your index of cleanliness to theirs?

                    By the way do you think Lankies follow Anagarika’s 200 rules of cleanliness under 22 topics?

                    Covid deaths

                    Sri Lanka Coronavirus Cases: 672,747 Deaths: 16,897 , 0.77%

                    India Coronavirus Cases: 45,027,151 Deaths: 533,462, 0.38 %

                    Do these figures reflect cleanliness of the respective countries?

                    Eating in Pettah? Think twice
                    https://www.sundaytimes.lk/141221/news/eating-in-pettah-think-twice-128273.html

                    • 2
                      5

                      Native,

                      Covid deaths were in proportion to the government response, not the level of cleanliness. Look at the data for USA: 110,956,774 cases and 1,196,525 deaths. Does it mean Hindia is cleaner than USA?

                      Do you know why people go to Thailand? There is only one reason. Here is a relevant data point (2023): “Thailand has an STD rate of 24,708.8 cases per 100,000 people, putting the country in forty-ninth place in the world for this metric.” One of the leaders in STD’s, no point discussing cleanliness.

                      Sri Lanka has a problem with obesity, not cleanliness. This is old data (2009) but it gives some idea: “According to the proposed World Health Organization cut-off values for Asians, the percentage of Sri Lankan adults in the overweight, obese and centrally obese categories were 25.2%, 9.2% and 26.2%, respectively. Based on the cut-offs for Caucasians, these were 16.8%, 3.7% and 10.8%.”

                      Even with Aragalaya, buggers were drinking high fructose beverages late at night and consuming white rice (high in starch).

                    • 4
                      2

                      NV,
                      .
                      “Have you been to Singapore, Thailand, and can your cleanliness index compare with theirs?”

                      This is a very good point.

                      There lester and the like self-procliamed pundits behave like deaf and blind.
                      .A few years ago ( Feb 2019), I went to Bali for only 4 days and everywhere I went through the island I found them cleaner than Sri Lankans.
                      It is a small place. But we (22 millions) should never compare with a country of 1400 million people. Better to compare with Kerala province and Malaysia for example. India is a subcontinent.
                      Recently NV asked, Can someone educate Lester? – Now it is becoming clear. Even Shakraya cannot help the Modaya type.

                    • 2
                      5

                      Leela,

                      It’s very difficult to follow what you write, as the sentence structure and word order are off. Also, you jump all over the place, which suggests some incoherent thought process. And the sheer amount of gibberish/rambling makes things worse. I have to agree with the other poster. You may have a mental issue that requires an “Angoda” solution.

                    • 1
                      1

                      Lester
                      “Covid deaths were in proportion to the government response, “
                      Oh, so now you’re claiming that the dirty Indian government response was better than the oh-so-clean SL response?
                      You figure it’s better to be dirty than dead?
                      You lost . Go away.

                    • 2
                      2

                      Dear Lester,
                      .
                      What you say in the comment

                      .

                      Leela,

                      It’s very difficult to follow what you write, … You may have a mental issue that requires an “Angoda” solution.,
                      .
                      is true.
                      .
                      It is unfortunate that for some reason, the “THUMBS” appear to be getting manipulated in some way.
                      .
                      On the other hand, you have said elsewhere, “Ask SM for a few lessons. His English is perfect.” No, I don’t quite agree. Even I make typos, but I do try to be consistent.

                      .
                      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

                  • 6
                    1

                    Lester,
                    How come a small part of “dirty” India gets far more tourists than “clean” Sri Lanka?
                    You should export some of the superior Western sh.t from your facility to SL.
                    Just remember to set aside enough for your dinner….

                    • 2
                      6

                      Old Codger,

                      India exports enough sh-t to the West and I don’t mean basmati rice. Ask the Dalits who sued the Google CEO over claims of casteism. You wouldn’t know that, since you are unable to go abroad. Therefore, you are relegated to the task of looking at useless data points and drawing equally useless conclusions.

                    • 1
                      2

                      Old Codger,

                      To answer the other part of your question, India is a much bigger country than Sri Lanka. Combined with the exchange rate and climate/beaches in portions like Goa, of course it will have more tourists overall. It would be incorrect to state that one part receives more tourists than the whole SL.

                      By the way, have you seen the Level 2 travel advisories issued by the US State Department in June 2023 to people planning to travel in India? Apparently, rape is a huge problem. They are advising single women not to travel alone there.

                      Country Summary: Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India. Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations.

                      On the YT, there are many videos of these unfortunate women attacked by the predators. I will link just one example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_JXA6jNDmI. They are persistent! If the man had not come to her rescue, the predators would have dragged her away. This is a big city, Mumbai. So you can imagine a remote area.

                      Now this has happened in SL too, but very rarely.

                    • 4
                      1

                      Lester,
                      “You wouldn’t know that, since you are unable to go abroad”
                      I do spend a lot of time abroad, just that I don’t feel the need to brag about it, unlike some employed in Western sewage plants, unable to travel back home.
                      I don’t need “data points”, I have seen both dirt and homeless in Western cities.

                    • 3
                      1

                      Lester,
                      “Ask the Dalits who sued the Google CEO over claims of casteism.”
                      Didn’t you write that Google hires only Brahmins? At least learn to be consistent.

                    • 2
                      2

                      Old Codger,

                      I’m simply going off your own words. You yourself said you did some work related to landmines for the STF. We can infer that’s not exactly a “high-paying” job. I understand your frustration with the SL economy. At the same time, you shouldn’t blame others – who had the brains & money – for going overseas. JVP terrorism/LTTE terrorism made the choice obvious.

                      Since you are obsessed with sewage, do you know how they clean the sewers in your precious India? That’s right, they send the low castes.

                      “Manual scavenging is banned in India but the practice is still commonplace, with people forced into it because of rigid caste rules and the lack of other livelihood options. They are hired by local corporations and even private contractors to clean sewers and drains that are blocked because of mud and plastic.” 25 Oct 2023

                      It’s a very nasty job. Sometimes people die in there.

        • 7
          1

          As usual, he doesn’t seem to compare the population bomb rising India, which is the biggest problem apart form diverse myths and mystics being entwined in their day today life, where more than 30% live below the poverty line.
          This is normal for most superficial people. In fact, My relatives (only lived in srilanka calling and boasting about sinhala-buddhism) were prevented from going to India as pilgrims because they thought they would get sick without proper water. Kind prejudices have been ingrained in the Sinhalese mentality from the day one (api thamayi minissu…. ha ha ) through their limited education. Island nation is misled to enjoy overating their race, as powerful as israelis.

          Saddest reality is if not their HOUSEMAIDs, the country would not have survived in the last few years. Housemaid-export to ME countries were life line for the sinking republic over the years. Medamulana Beast had no empathy to see it further.
          That ND Silva or the like racists were successful at spreading the self-aggrandized statements in public within the high days of MEDAMULANISM (a form of tribalism in that part of the region).
          For Lester’s and everyone’s note, I have added a link below to how many foreign powerful automotive companies are operating in India.
          .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_automobile_manufacturers_of_India
          .

  • 8
    1

    Vipula,
    Thanks for your article.
    I think there is something hidden behind the invitation to Sri Lanka Janata Vimukti Peramuna – NPP to come to India.
    This is not because they respect Sri Lankan JVP, but they have something else in their plan to check it.
    .
    I just had to watch the video below to explain that Maldives and Sri Lanka are small nations and they should see how they fare with giant nations. They clearly say that an Indian submarine arrived in Ceylon shortly before the Ceylon Independence Day celebrations.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww9XraKcuVU

    Lankans, as usual, interpret in their favor. I mean JVP and their supporters and the rival JVP is speculating some theories. At this moment, local experts in Sri Lanka should come forward and analyze it. It is unfortunate that we wait for our experts and historians to influence everyone to find solutions. the JVP

  • 7
    1

    Fighting SHY of Facts!! Worst CRIME???

  • 6
    1

    The invitation to NPP may be a direct good and political approach for them and will reveal to the world the truth why Sri Lankans are stuck despite their high social indicators (much higher literary rate such as 93%, infant death rate being much less etc) and other parameters of a rising society.

    It will reveal the true FACE of NPP to the whole world. Otherwise their rebellious behavior of organizing any protest AND sabotage activities in the country is clear to the whole world as a deterrent to foreign investment in that sinking nation.

    I think RW as incumbent President has not uttered a single word about the visit of the delegation led by the NPP leader and the invitation from India.
    It could be something he is hiding. He may have said many times in frontline meetings with foreign leaders that the popularity of some other leaders (Rajapkashe and their supporters) and standing of the rebel Janata Vimukthi Peramuna is the biggest obstacle to taking a good step forward in our motherland.
    As Dr. Amarasuriya clearly states, if the NPP is not as limited as the JVPs, then they should quickly reveal to the world that these vulnerable people, battered by various post-war issues, should not be guinea pigs for the next experiment. Election. Enough is enough.

    • 5
      1

      cont.

      What is needed for the country is software-based foreign investment (to automobiles and automotive), AI and other innovations, Export of skilled labor to Germany, Poland, United States or similar countries. Trained nurses are in demand many countries in europe, if they would be provided with proper trainings before being sent to those countries. Bilateral trade agreements should be signed between countries – is a must for this to be successufl. Indians do, why not their neigoburs with 22 millions cant do the same ?
      Taking the example of booming Vietnam, however, if the JVP continues to disagree to any kind of trade agreements between countries rabblerousing lankens as saying it as “they sell everything “, they will remain “rotten” forever, and Lankans will not be allowed to raise their heads. It is the next cancer similar to Sinhala Buddhist monks and their failure over the decades.. Rural people may not have the brain to differentiate between sentiment and practical approach. The media should come forward to clear their fuzzy heads.

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