By Eric Ellis –
A founder of Sri Lanka’s Army of Buddhist Power tries to explain his militant views on Muslims, and how they fit with the government’s triumphant story of post-war reconciliation
Sri Lanka’s raffish capital, where we begin our series, is in economic catch-up mode. Colombo is replacing the colonial-era roads and railways built when Churchill was a boy and ‘Ceylon’ was a languid tropical afterthought for the British who ruled the plantation island.
Though it took its time – 10 years – to be completed, a sparkling new tollway to the beachy Rajapaksa heartland in the south has cut the journey from Colombo from a congested three-to-six hours to just one.
In the conflict-ravaged Tamil north, Indian engineers are re-connecting the war-severed train line that once carried passengers from Colombo to Jaffna.
In the mostly Sinhalese ‘deep south’ of the island, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s home region of Hambantota is being lavished with the country’s biggest infrastructural project, a US$1.5 billion stampede of white elephants that’s giving the town a new port, international airport and cricket stadium – all named after President Rajapaksa – and a convention centre and even an alternative Bollywood complex.
Read more in the The Globalmail
*Eric Ellis is an award-winning journalist who writes about the politics, economics and societies of South and South-East Asia. He has written for a range of international journals; Fortune Magazine, Forbes, the Financial Times, Time Magazine, The Times, The Bulletin/Newsweek, The Spectator,Institutional Investor, Euromoney, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian Financial Review and the International Herald Tribune.