19 May, 2024

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Why USA, Japan, Germany, Switzerland Etc. Have So Many Inventions?

By Asoka Seneviratne

Asoka Seneviratne

According to an UNCTAD report in early 2023, the ten countries with the largest amount of inventions or patents are given as follows in the order of the highest first.

Switzerland, USA, Sweden, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Finland and Denmark. These are also the countries with some of the highest per capita incomes, meaning there is a definite relationship between economic prosperity and level of inventions.

An invention is when a new product, technique or even a service is developed and then patented. One area where inventions tend to be highest is in the field of medical sciences. One of the most outstanding inventions in the recent past has been the technique of Gene Editing which has been credited to American Jennifer Doudna and French Emmanuelle Carpentier which led to a massive industry of several billions dollars’ worth creating jobs and tax revenue. Among the most noteworthy inventions that helped the world to get rid of recent global pandemic Covid-19 was MRNA technology invented by scientists Weissman of USA and Kariko of Hungary.

Pfizer made nearly $ 38 Billion selling Covid vaccine. 

So why doe tiny Switzerland with a population of 8 million lead in partnts year after year? Switzerland has no natural resources except crispy clean water and beautiful mountains. So the smart leaders of Switzerland resorted to brain power. They developed top notch colleges that lead to the creation of new patents and trademarks  year after year. 

So how does patents lead to prosperity?

The patent holder enjoys protection for 20 years in USA for example. This enables the inventor to market the product unhindered for 20 years. The famous anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor invented by American scientist Bruce Roth and later developed by Pfizer enjoyed patent protection until 2011. Pfizer makes about $2 billion annually and is the largest selling anti-cholesterol drug in the world.

So why does not the poorer world not develop inventions and patents? Simply said, lack of awareness, lack of incentives and lack of leadership by governments.

Among these, financial incentives or greed play the biggest role. For example, a US inventor can benefit from its gigantic capital markets if the product developed makes a lot of money and then taken to the capital markets as a publicly listed company. Once a company goes public, the value of the company can go from several millions to several hundred million or billions even potentially. Once the company enjoys all these million- or billion-dollar valuations, they have the luxury to hire the smartest around the world and develop more products and even diversify into other areas. 

So it all starts from an invention incentivized by greed for the most part. A tiny and useful patented electronic device can generate a lot of money under patent protection for 2 decades in the USA, for example.

Take Amazon.com for example. A smart American borrowed $25000 from his stepfather’s retirement money and opened an On-Line bookstore in the garage. It took off and grew exponentially because of the massive purchasing power of the US public. Then Bezos took the company public and after struggling a few years tuned into one of the most valued companies of the world all thanks to the US capital markets. Today Amazon enjoys a massive market capitalization of US $ 1.57 trillion most of the shares being owned by the founder Bezos making him one of the richest people in the world. 

Due to this sea of millions Amazon now has, it has ventured into other cutting-edge industries like rocket science developing space tourism, yet another billion-dollar industry in the making.

A simple business of selling books on-line became a gigantic global powerhouse thank to the internet, consumer buying power along with most important capital markets. 

Same of the story of Bill Gates who invented Windows that lead to the development of personal computer through Microsoft who has been among the  richest in the world. Over a hundred billion dollars of personal wealth which he uses to diversify into other ventures creating patents and thousands of jobs along the way plus generating billions of tax revenue to the country.

Now what if Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates were born in Sri Lanka? What incentive would they have to make inventions or even start a business? Could they have gone public into the tiny Colombo stock exchange? Could they have generated millions of dollars selling to a tiny market worth a mere $85 billion? 

There are thousands of smart brains in SL or in the poor world. But what would drive them to invent? What would be the incentive?

To that matter what percentage of our young people know about capital markets and how they function? How many of them even know that the heart of capitalism is the capital markets?

Why is it that our education system does not teach the students from young age about the power of inventions and capital markets? Why is it that our young generations are not equipped with the right kind knowledge of high business and what creates them?

It all boils down to smart leadership. How else one can explain the once impoverished tiny Singapore turning in to the 8th most inventive country with a $95000.00 Per capital within a mere 50 years? 

Food for thought for the third world and their leadership !

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Latest comments

  • 4
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    I went to a Secondary School in Aberdeen at the age of 12 (back in the 1960s) where we were taught how to use Engineering Lathes, Band-saws, various hand-tools and measuring instruments. We were also taught the scientific, mathematical and engineering methodologies and theories behind our practical training.
    We were encouraged to think for ourselves on how to solve scientific and engineering problems. At the age of 14 (early 1967) our Physics teacher took us to a Seminar on Colour Television where we discussed the differences between the PAL and NTSC systems and why the UK was beginning broadcasts in PAL. Our Science Labs (Chemistry, Physics and Biology) in school were second to none.
    James Clerk Maxwell (known as Scotland’s Einstein and famous for his equations on Electromagnetism) was a professor at Aberdeen University in the 1850s and left a legacy of teaching Science to workers as well as students. Our teacher demonstrated colour theory using one of Maxwell’s colour wheels.
    According to the author “So why does not the poorer world not develop inventions and patents? Simply said, lack of awareness, lack of incentives and lack of leadership by governments.”
    I beg to differ.

    To be continued
    .

    • 2
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      Continued
      Engineering and Scientific innovation requires an educational environment that encourages children to think for themselves, become skilled in problem solving and relate their learning to the objective outside world. Instrumental to this – a country must have a well-educated body of Teachers, Lecturers and Ancillary Staff. The schools need to be equipped with well-provisioned classrooms, laboratories and workshops – not to mention modern IT systems and libraries
      Nowadays, Scientific, Medical and Engineering textbooks are mostly written in English. A good standard of English teaching is a pre-requisite for enabling students to succeed at University/Technical College etc. A country should also have an Infrastructure that supports the development of Manufacturing/Textile and Service Industries.
      Does Sri Lanka have this? Do they have well equipped schools and colleges? Are the professionals in the Educational sector paid a decent salary? Does the Government provide support to improve the infrastructure – Electrical Supply, Health Services, Roads (Transport in all its forms?)
      Best Regards

      • 2
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        Dear all,
        not only education but also culture and religion play a big role in their stagnation in the South Asian region, however, I disagree with the writer that European countries are leading in their interventions.
        If you are willing to do your recherche on the web you will easily find that Indians are more prominent among research projects compared to many other nations.
        Even the Chinese are not at the forefront of medicine and science. In recent times, Indians as a densely populated nation have contributed more to modern interventions that can revolutionize human diseases. In those days, Down syndrome patients did not live more than 40 years, but with the help of modern medicine, they live more than 60 years. Viruses such as HIV aid in the treatment of various types of new drugs in the last 4 decades.
        Karikó and Weissman’s research had successfully eliminated the obstacles that had previously stood in the way of using mRNA clinically. Being able to instruct the body to replicate virtually any harmless protein could have potential for treating a range of diseases and even protect against viral infections.

        COVID vaccines
        When their research was first published, it didn’t garner much attention. But in 2011, two biotech (GERMANY) companies – Moderna (US) and BioNTech – took notice and began research into mRNA medicines.

        • 3
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          LM,
          “If you are willing to do your recherche on the web you will easily find that Indians are more prominent among research projects compared to many other nations.”
          They are prominent, but that is mostly due to English proficiency, and you are reading in English. Interestingly, many senior figures at ISRO are from the South, where English is better understood.
          The Japanese, for example, get along fine in Japanese, but we don’t know about that unless we find a translation.

          • 2
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            OC,
            It is also valid for the Germans and the French and other European great nations. In addition to their English publications, they publish many things in their own languages.
            They all have their publications in their languages. For example, I myself know that the Italians are very advanced in some branches of medicine, but those who do not read them in their own language are prevented from knowing what they have declared. The same is valid for Germans. I read both English and German except Dutch for some scientific information.
            In my original comment I meant that increasing number of Indians (non-Europeans) contribute to world research in the fields of medicine, science, engineering and computer science. It is contrary to what the author of this article is going to share.

          • 0
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            Dear oc,
            .
            It is unfortunate, but true that the newly awakened enthusiasm for English Medium Education means that there are far too many students studying in the language, without really being able to understand much.
            .
            You may not yet realise the extent of that tragedy.
            .
            Panini

      • 6
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        I agree with most of what you are saying ……. but evidence out there suggests English language is not a necessity for excellence.

        Most Japanese do not speak English …… and they excel in manufacturing.

        In the mid 80s, Chinese professors were siting in our 1st and 2nd year lectures and they could hardly speak English ……… today, the top 3 and 7 out of the top 10 universities for civil engineering are in China. I don’t think English played a major part in that. …….. https://cwur.org/2017/subjects.php#Engineering,%20Civil

        A significant amount of research in US universities are carried out by importing the cream of the crop from other countries. China has achieved their preeminence with just local talent.

        • 0
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          NF is back from SRILANKA. Happy New Year !

          May be he could explain a lot about his trip.

        • 0
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          Dear nimal fernando,
          .
          I find that this has become a quite fascinating discussion, which I chanced upon only just now, on Thursday morning. I don’t know all the answers, but yes, I think that over-assertion by the Sinhalese is much to blame.
          .
          Our current population is only about 16.5 million – I’ve calculated that from Wikipedia. Tamil Nadu alone has 72 million, but we must add to that the populations of Kerala (with a very similar language spoken by around 34 million) and others overseas, including about 4 million in Sri Lanka. Japan’s is 125 million (with everybody speaking just that one language). Regarding Korea, I’m rather more uncertain. The South has 77 million, and the North has almost 26 million. The populations, therefore, are much greater. So, they could develop technology using their own language, and the pattern of development world-wide suggests that in harsher climates there was a greater need for technology.
          .
          In the light of that, we do need a major World Language – and we were fortunate to have English, but we’ve thrown it all away.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

      • 1
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        Dear LankaScot,
        .
        I’ve started with an observation to nimal fernando about the size of our populations, but the real tragedy lies in the way that we run our schools. This discussion needs more time!
        .
        See if this is relevant:
        .
        http://angelawlittle.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/DiplomaDisease2006.pdf
        .
        I had read Dore’s original book soon after it came out, but not followed up his later musings:
        .
        https://www.ids.ac.uk/files/dmfile/Dore11.2final.pdf
        .
        And it keeps getting worse. There now is the “Ammalage Vibhagaya” (Mother’s Exam) at Grade 5. In those early years of schooling, spontaneity is so very important. Now all that is gone, because of this soul-killing covering of the syllabus. Yet what choice has the average parent but to submit to the system?
        .
        In my family we escaped this. My father was a versatile teacher who worked in a school that stopped at Grade Five (age 11), but with assured admission to good secondary schools. My children and grandchildren were also fortunate owing to other factors as well. But most children are sucked into the prevailing system. And all the “Private Tuition” that follows, because of the need “to qualify”.
        .
        On top of that, the system of educational administration is highly hierarchical, and getting more so. And now has come a recent craze for English Medium Education.
        .
        Panini

  • 5
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    Dunno AS. All these countries you mention originally created money
    out of thin air for sake of survival……eg. US and Singapore due to the millions of immigrants flooding their shores – they had no indigenous populations, or ones far reduced by them. All began with colonial UK’s wealth of course, that developed after colonialism via US, S’pore, S.Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark,….Netherlands having their own colonial wealth,…..Germany forced into the system after WW2.

    And now they carry on the creation and balancing of budgets with all kinds of mad and detrimental inventions like the trillion dollar plastic surgery industries to change even people’s genders together with creating cultures to incorporate them; someone let out a covid virus and now a huge multi-trillion vaccination industry has developed out of it.

    Tell this to our country, and our not too intelligent leaders will immediately place a large chunk of the starving people’s money on the mad innovations industry which just won’t take off ; our starving millions will thus starve even more.

    • 5
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      Ramona dear,
      “S.Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark,….Netherlands having their own colonial wealth”
      Would you please name some Korean , Swiss, or Scandinavian colonies?

      • 3
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        S. Korea was forced into it by USA after Korean war…..they had originally wanted to be like N . Korea. Switzerland capitalized on colonial wealth and old European aristocracy wealth and built up their Swiss Bank Accounts (too late and out-of-place for Sri Lanka to dream of such things…..although R’s are STILL attempting to convert the suffering and hard work of the Lankan masses into Swiss-style Lankan Bank Accounts…..whilst SOME Lankan greedy-guts who are not taxed, are placing their money on promissory notes for this…..can you imagine?!!!).

        ….breath..
        .Scandinavian countries utilized the value of the global currency to socialize their systems change (they being the social balancer of the White Man’s wealth…..everybody happy and so innovation comes easily to them……they also eat plenty of fish (much stolen from Sri Lanka via fish mudalalis,….whilst our Lankan masses don’t even know what fish looks like),…. the Omega-3s giving then Hugh intelligence boost…..yeah, let’s fish the heck out of our oceans for puny human intelligence and silly innovation.

        • 4
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          Hello Ramona,
          I was brought up in Aberdeen, a large fishing port in North East Scotland. I have worked in many of the countries that you and others mention – Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, The Netherlands and others. I always make a point of visiting the local Fish Markets and Restaurants/Cafes wherever I can to sample the seafood and fish.
          To Date I have never seen a single species of Sri Lankan fish on sale in any of those countries – no Linna, Thalapath, Thondayaa or even Hurulla (too many small bones). I have eaten all of these fish in Sri Lanka and maybe some might be exported but I haven’t seen them.
          Best regards

          • 4
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            Ayubowan LankaScot 🙏,

            Guess their local markets are well protected with their local produce and local prices rates. High-end restaurants in the city probably get their delicatessen fish at cheap rates from Sri Lanka. Eat fish, and more fish.

          • 1
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            LS,
            You should by now have twigged on that Ramona makes up her worldview as she goes along.
            Be that as it may, some local fish is exported to the EU.

            • 4
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              OC,

              Not at all. It is hardly made up. It is very obvious to the diligent observer. You have to open your mind and heart to these things.

          • 2
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            LS and Ramona Happy New Year to you all!
.
LS, Nice to see you back to CT. I read your comments with great interest as you have traveled all over Europe and lived in many destinations like me. Thanks also for adding your previous posts elsewhere. It is good to know some Sinhala while living in that country.
–
To tell you, I am used to eating “fish” whenever I have business trips to Northern Europe (Hamburg, Copenhagen, Kiel etc.). . The most common type of fish I am used in Europe is “salmon”. I agree with you that we have a wider selection of fish in Sri Lanka. Above all, halibut and other small fish are high in calcium
–
Unfortunately, Sri Lanka’s fisheries have not yet developed to the point where they can export loads to European consumers. Those analysts in the field should do a study to know as to why it is in such a disastrous state.
–
AKD led drama queens talk high about converting GRAPHITE to GRAPHINE and make srilanka singapore,, but at the same time, their economists and policy makers dont seem to focus on fisheries resouces, which are a huge source of income for our state, if they are going to invest more into fisheries.

            • 2
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              Happy New Year to everyone,
              I hope 2024 improves all our lives. As Leelagemalli points out Sri Lanka has a huge resource (in fishing stocks) that could be better utilised, however I hope they don’t make the mistake of over-fishing that the West Europeans made.
              In the 1970s and 80s I worked in the Oil Industry off the West African coast (Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast). I was amazed at the proliferation of fish species and wondered why I had not seen any fishing vessels (apart from local catamarans and canoes) in the area. The Chinese must have been listening to my SSB phone calls to my family back in the UK 😉 (apologies to SJ) as their Distant Waters fishing fleet is hoovering up the shoals (legally and illegally) to send back home. As has been pointed out the Chinese are large consumers of fish and seafood, but this has led to conflicts in many parts of the world regarding fishing rights – see this link https://www.dailysabah.com/life/environment/illegal-fishing-in-sri-lanka-waters-turns-into-grave-conflict
              The solution to the illegal fishing by Tamil Nadu boats in the North is so easy that I am sure someone at a high level profits by not stopping it.

              Best regards

              • 1
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                LS
                The same is true of Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters. Some escalations were observed in recent years and that is why both the states had to join hands to settle back and forth. If my information is updated, some of lankensea fishermen are still in Indian custody. As I have heard, the lives of those fishermen are a tragedy that the government has forgotten. The most affected is the fishing community.

                • 2
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                  Hello LM,
                  I built (Hardware and Software configuration) most of the Training Suite Servers and Workstations for a large Maritime Surveillance Deployment in a Middle East Country. Our remit was, in the early days, mostly concerned with Fisheries Protection. From an 80 metre tower built on land that is 20 metres above Sea Level you can observe with Radar and IR/ daylight Cameras, small boats that are about 37 kilometres away. A single 21 foot Slotted Waveguide Radar Antenna can provide up to 98,000 km2 of coverage. A small system of 3 radars would cover most of the disputed fishing areas and also provide legal evidence if required. An additional AIS system would give information from larger vessels.
                  A system like the above would also show evidence of Sri Lankan fishing in Indian Territory. Turkey has very fast and inexpensive Coastguard Support vessels that are ideal for Fishing Intervention.
                  I can provide contacts if you need such a system for yourself 😊
                  Best regards

                  • 0
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                    Thank you LS. I really appreciate. I think this information may be very important for marine monitoring in Sri Lanka. Do you have any contact with them regarding this? I am not an expert in marine engineering or software or the like related to ocean science. However, I am being occupied by life sciences and biomedicine.

      • 3
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        oc
        Scandinavian states had colonies in the Atlantic and North America at one time.
        But they were marginal compared to those of Spain, Portugal, Britain and France.

      • 2
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        Did Switzerland have African territories?
        Switzerland – or the city states that acted as its predecessor – never had any colonies, but it has a colonial past. It was involved in the slave trade through financial investments in ships that carried more than 170,000 Africans to the Americas.19.11.2020

        The Danish colonies in Europe included the Faroe Islands and Iceland, in the Arctic Greenland, in America the Danish West Indies (Caribbean: Lesser Antilles, Virgin Islands with Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix, and also Crab Island), in Asia the Danish East Indies in historical India (New Denmark/Nicobar …

        Given Finland’s historical position between eastern and western colonial powers, Finland never had overseas colonies. Finland was part of the Swedish Empire for many centuries and then for a relatively brief peroid also as the Grand Duchy of Finland under the Russian Empire’s influence.

        Was Sweden involved in colonialism?
        Swedish colonialist neutrality – Uneven Earth
        Sweden was then a colonizer, although admittedly on a smaller scale than Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Great Britain or France—and allegedly of a benevolent type. But the Swedish Crown and power sphere were in fact heavily involved in the European colonization project with all its atrocities.

    • 0
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      Also:
      https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/11016316.pdf

      Sri Lanka’s introduction of
      “open economy” policies in 1977, and the integration of its economy
      with the global economy had both positive and negative impacts. On the
      positive side, the rate of mechanization and modernization of craft
      increased; new fishing techniques were introduced; the international trade
      in fish and fish products increased; and fishers engaged in mechanized
      fishing reported increased earnings. On the negative side, the lives of
      artisanal and small-scale fishers appear to have been threatened by the
      forces of market expansion and trade; sea and land tenure problems
      worsened due to the entry into the fisheries sector of powerful business
      interests and the expansion of the tourism industry; coastal marine
      resources got degraded; and the need for social security measures in
      fisheries re-surfaced with a tremendous force

      • 1
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        And furthermore LankaScot,

        https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/11016316.pdf

        “Yet, many of the fisheries co-operatives remain dormant today due to poor
        management, disinterested office bearers, lack of training of personnel in
        business management, poor awareness of the principles of co-operation,
        political interventions, short-sighted policies, and poor loan recovery rates.”

        Why? Because only a bare amount of money, business profits, and IMF are put into ensuring the food and employment of our suffering and starving masses, other than to dole out food parcels. In the end, Norway gormandizes on our fish, and a few Lankan Mudalalis become rich. Wouldn’t have had these problems if places like Norway did not hanker after our seafood promising rich returns of billionaire status for a few Elite.

        See, once big business comes along, there’s no going back on socializing wealth that belongs to the workers that produced the wealth. If we produced inventions that we could sell to other countries, it might have been a different story. But wretched Lanka is playing around with her essential food supplies.

        Axiom: Other countries should not hanker after other countries food necessities, especially of poor countries.

        • 1
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          Hello Ramona,
          The Fisheries Report that you pointed to is 20 years out of date. It is very interesting, however if you look at the detail the vast majority of Government expenditure on Fisheries and Social Welfare was in the Southern Province. It would be good to see an up to date Report on the same sort of Data that was used.
          Sri Lanka Exports of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatics invertebrates to Norway was US$27.93 Thousand during 2022 – Norway is absent from the top 10 importers of Sri Lankan Fish. https://trendeconomy.com/data/h2/SriLanka/0303 so I would love to know what you mean by “Norway gormandizes on our fish”

          Best regards

          • 2
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            LankaScot,

            Yes, it is an old article. All the social nets to replace Lankan fish exports are now gone. All profits of our industries like the fishing one goes to rich Lankan billionaires to play around on global monetary exchange so Lanka can become of first-world billionaire status in 2048. Bring on the NPP – they have a far more intelligent and astute plan.

            Guess Norway went to India and impoverished the place, forcing starving Indian fisherman to encroach our waters. But of course a place like China is far worse. But China makes no bones about acting good. Norway on the other hand is full of moral posturings.

            • 0
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              “Guess Norway went to India and impoverished the place, forcing starving Indian fisherman to encroach our waters. But of course a place like China is far worse. But China makes no bones about acting good. Norway on the other hand is full of moral posturings.”
              🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯

  • 3
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    The author does not seem to know which country has the most number of patents awarded annually. That country’s score is more than the next five put together.
    Now 3 Asian countries are ahead of the US and all Europe.
    Four Asian countries are ahead of any other.
    (Sources:
    https://www.wipo.int/en/ipfactsandfigures/patents;
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/257152/ranking-of-the-20-countries-with-the-most-patent-grants/)

    • 2
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      SJ- I quoted from an an UNCTAD report from 2023. My articles says so.

      My bigger point was to highlight the importance of Capital markets that promotes inventions ( only Patents I refer to).

      Patents and licensed followed by millions of profits. Example : Microsoft software licensing and many more.

      • 4
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        Hello Asoka,
        Microsoft developed the Disk Operating System (DOS) for the IBM PC. IBM’s version was called PCDOS and Microsoft’s was called MSDOS. Microsoft copied much of the the features of CP/M by Digital Research (legally or not, I am not sure) and sold it to IBM. Microsoft lost a patent case to STAX for MSDOS. Microsoft and IBM fell out over OS/2 and what became Windows. I used many different Operating Systems in the early days of Personal Computers and found that fresh releases from Microsoft were invariably a disaster. All of the Microsoft Windows versions were a nightmare up until they released Windows XP. Many of the early versions were fixed (sometimes) with Service Packs. Because IBM couldn’t patent the IBM PC, many companies started to build their own versions and also started to licence OEM copies of Microsoft Operating Systems. This is why Microsoft became rich – not because of patents.
        Best regards

      • 1
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        Please check with the sources that I have cited.
        I referred to patents too.
        The sources give data which are consistent.
        When a country is streets ahead of any European or North American country and has taken absolute lead in global infrastructure construction.
        The following is food for thought.
        “While the U.S. has maintained its position as the technologically dominant power for decades, China has made enormous investments and implemented policies that have contributed significantly to its economic growth, military capability, and global influence. In some areas, China has eclipsed, or is on the verge of eclipsing, the United States — particularly in the rapid deployment of certain technologies.”
        (https://www.brookings.edu/articles/global-china-technology/)
        *
        China has embraced capitalism in a big way. But its advances in Science and Technology are not Capital Market driven. The state remains a big player.
        Even in India, ahead of much of Europe, the development of science and technology was state policy driven, although there are some impressive private sector players.
        The profit motive sees science and technology as means to make money and cut throat competition does not help advancement for the public good.

    • 2
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      SJ,
      Yes, the figures looked fishy to me. The author seems to have put Singapore ahead of China. At 6th place, India has the highest growth, 25%. Singapore doesn’t figure, but South Korea does.

      • 0
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        oc
        I trust that you have noticed the obvious bias his earlier writings.
        But he has a few admirers here.

      • 2
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        Dear All,
        .
        Facts always help to understand our [edited out] Ramona, who lives forever in NA (Petersburg). She is a kind person, but she doesn’t know what her lips will allow.
        Unfortunately, most of what she adds for CT is similar to the “hearsay” from KOPICADE dayawathie (the 80’s teledrama series telecasted by SLRC). This means that, for the most part, she is not based on facts about what she knows. I can prove it below.

        No wonder some white Americans in our Zoom meetings constantly ask if Sri Lanka is part of “Singapore,” because I have mentioned to them once or twice that I am originally from Sri Lanka but stayed back in Europe after my education.
        # I am now one of their facilitators for transatlantic projects in the biomedical sciences.
        .
        As always, our Guru SJ is really right.
        I wish he would continue correcting many of us here in CT
        Everyone considers him today that he is a CT guru. Most of the comments added by Humble LANKA SCOT are also accurate as they are based on his own experiences. I really like LS and his thoughts.

        tbc

        • 2
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          cont.
          The Danes colonized many areas, including Africa, the Americas, the Atlantic and Asia. Medieval Norwegians colonized large parts of the Atlantic Ocean, including Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which were later absorbed as colonies by the United Kingdom of Denmark-Norway.

          What nationality eats the most fish?
          Overall, China is by far the world’s largest consumer of fish, with 57,474.57 tons annually. That’s more than four times greater than the next biggest, Indonesia, at 12,154.53 tons, with India close behind at 11,016.58 tons.

  • 0
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    AS,

    Countries like SL should look closer. How did China and India grow their economies? Once the economy grows little by little and political stability is reached, there will come a tipping point at which countries may have laid the foundation to accelerate innovation, compete in the global marketplace, and even leapfrog other developing nations. But SL is nowhere near such a tipping point. You cannot put the cart before the horse, and you are making the mistake of looking at it solely from the financial perspective.

    You talk about Bezos. I recall Bezos talking about his Sri Lankan origin classmate at Princeton who helped him solve a difficult Math problem; Bezos was implying that made him realize he wouldn’t make a good theoretical physicist, which was his passion at that time; instead, he decided to focus on money-making and entrepreneurship. I think he was referring to Dr. Yasantha Rajakarunanayake, a relative of the well-known journalist Lucien. Dr. YS and many others from SL are content to produce patents from their salaried positions within companies, not willing to go through all the headaches of becoming entrepreneurs themselves. Not everyone has the personality to be entrepreneurial and take comfort in greed.

  • 9
    4

    Innovation and creativity are not rewarded by the Sri Lankan establishment.

    A friend of mine who writes to a private newspaper in Sri Lanka told me he gets Rs.2000 ( about 5 pounds) for his full page article. This is after much research and about 2 days f intellectual effort ! For washing a car they charge the same amount at a garage now.

    Notorious media moguls like Wijewardena, Welgama, Tiran Alles and Dulith Jayaweera are exploiting their writers, who have no where else to go.

    No wonder English media is in such a bad state today ! Only rich kids volunteer to become writers and that for short term fun only ! No serious writer can survive in that country.

    • 2
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      Deepthi Silva,

      All going on the political establishment to place money on offshore accounts to secure their continued rulership.

  • 5
    0

    I knew a SL chairman/managing editor who would publish articles for free from significant writers and claim, “We are giving them the chance to build their reputations.”

  • 3
    1

    “Switzerland, USA, Sweden, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Finland and Denmark.”

    Interesting you mention S Korea. The suicide rate is very high and the birth rate is less than 1. Most of the parent’s income is spent on private tuition for the children. Of course they have Samsung & LG Chem, but the people there are not happy, in my opinion.

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