CHINA CAN HELP SRI LANKA TO BECOME A DEVELOPED NATION (PART 1)
Posted on May 28th, 2018

BY EDWARD THEOPHILUS

The major dream of Sri Lankans since the political independence from Western colonial rules is to become a developed nation which could deliver the prosperity to citizens of the country.  The evidence in the past displayed that the economic policy of monarchical reigns of the country was able to accomplish the expectations of people to a reasonable extent as in the history wants and needs of people were limited to day to day affairs of households.   The society was reasonably aligned to a seclusion status, in which the expectations of people were bounded to basic needs.  The ethnic groups in the country also restricted to few and they did not demonstrate the desires of dividing the country with the support of foreign forces.  In such a background Sinhala kings satisfied the anticipation of people despite the minor opposition remained against the style of rules at that time.

The historical evidence further confirms that Buddhism as the major religion of the country played a central and critical role to unite people and guided the political authority to make right economic policies, justice in administration, cultural development and advancement of civilization with a system of concrete social values.  The Buddhist philosophy focuses to control the desires of people, encouraged sharing the wealth and looking after poor.  People in the historical society were listening to religious guidance and attempted to implement religious principles in the day to day life of people.  The Buddhist philosophy effectively contributed to managing the country as a peaceful state and guided Sinhala kings to follow the ruling quality, which was called Dasa Raja Dharmaya”, which was equal to the concept of good governance.

However, the peaceful political, economic and cultural environment of Sri Lanka was challenged by Indian invaders who attempted to destroy the economic, political, social and cultural stability of the country.  The different kinds of invaders arrived from South Indian provinces such as Sena, Guththika, Elara and Maga attempted to destroy Sri Lanka with a secret agenda and they had vicious elements against Sinhala people and attempted to destabilize the country by economic, cultural, social and religious destructions.  There was no evidence that ruling governments at that times in India supported to those invaders but later especially after the independence in 1948 provides clear evidence that the Indian government directly involved in disturbing Sri Lanka’s administration creating the LTTE terrorist movement with the financial and arming outfits from India.

As a result of Indian influences, the dream of people of Sri Lanka visibly backward in many occasions. The current challenge of the country is defeating this divisive attempt with a view to achieving the major dream of people in order to convert the dream into a reality, Sri Lanka desperately needs broader policies and supports from the outside.  Sri Lanka has a very small market inside and the quality of products and services of the country need to be improved to international level with the support of the outside world.  The current market conditions also indicate that Sri Lanka cannot be a strong industrial nation without exportable high-quality productions but the country has a cogent potential to be a nation with high – quality services such as real estate, financial, fuel supply, leisure, tourism and many others.

After the 2015 Presidential and general elections, it proved that India and Western nations have failed to honestly help Sri Lanka as promised before the elections to realize the dream of people.  India secretly influenced to defeat the Rajapaksa regime, which especially concerned on achieving development targets and uniting people associating with China. The current official economic statistics demonstrate that Sri Lanka’s economic achievements have transposed to a lower level and the foreign forces targeted to defeat the Rajapaksa regime with a view to breaking the association with China. The governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka stated in many times that the country is desperately needed the support of China and the country is in a difficult situation to find large-scale investors, who can support to get out from current problems. In fact, during the election period, the current regime ruthlessly criticized China without knowing the truth about the economic strength of China and now they are gradually realizing the fact that China can honestly help Sri Lanka’s people to achieve the dream.

International news of CNN published in 2017 expressed that China is becoming to replace the USA in international aid, the total Chinese aid from the year 2000 to 2014 was US $ 354 billion of which a considerable quantum of aid has gone to African nations where combinedly received the US $ 32 billion for 704 projects. Many African countries with rich mining resources were under the rule of European countries, which indiscriminately exploited the resources but never provided sufficient economic supports.  An assistant professor of Politics at the University of British Columbia University found in a research, Chinese aid was more attractive to developing countries because no political strings attached to them and Chinese aid which quickly and efficiently disbursed than the assistance from Western nations.

The current Chines Leader Xi Jingping initiated many changes in the Chinese economy after election to the leadership in 2012 and China’s Communist Party Conference held in 2017, Mr. Xi Jingping clearly indicated that opening its economy further to the world and CNN pointed out that Huge sums are also expected to be channeled into Xi’s grand plan for building up roads, ports and other infrastructure along the historic silk road” trading routes across Asia, Europe, and Africa. Dubbed the belt and road initiative it aims to create a growing trade network with China at its heart.”

China has played a critical role in Asian region’s economic development and the growth objectives of all countries in the region are being depended on the Chinese economy because China has involved in trade with all countries.  Sri Lanka had a close relationship with China for a long period and the relationship had a broader feature such as religious, cultural exchanges and the supports for infrastructure development of the country.  The impartial American analysis is that Chinese aid supported to 0.4% increase in world economic growth.  Many developing countries concerned about the effects of Western aid, which is pushing for political reforms that are highly unpopular.  People of Sri Lanka clearly observed that after the defeat of Rajapaksa regime in 2015 Western nations pushed for a new constitution, the abolition of the power of elected president and changing the election system in the country.  People of Sri Lanka do not like such forceful reforms to change the political system. As impartial analysis indicates Chinese supports have significantly lift the economic growth to more than 6% in Sri Lanka after finishing the civil war.  During the Rajapaksa regime, China helped Sri Lanka to maintain a higher economic growth but under the Sirisena -Wickramasinghe regime the growth has declined to 3.2% and many corrupt practices incurred in the country despite the promises given during the elections in 2015.

Western rulers in Sri Lanka bought democratic political principles to the country but they were unable to win the hearts of people as the motives of Western rulers involved in destroying the religious and cultural values of the country, which were rooted in Sri Lanka’s society during many centuries.  One of the examples that people did not trust in the Western values was the story written by Lenard Wolf, the Village in the Jungle.  Lenard Wolf, who was a British administrator in Southern Province of Sri Lanka, clearly indicated that how democratic justice system of Western rulers worked against the poor Sri Lankans.  Justice means justice which should be equal to everybody but British justice system has failed to give justice to a poor person.

In fact, the democratic values bought to Sri Lanka were significant to changing the society. Despite the purpose of democratic values, Western rulers attempted to interpret values in contrasting ways and used the values to divide the society.  Western rulers in Sri Lanka did not support for achieving the dream of people. It seems that people of Sri Lanka would never see Western democratic philosophy as a superior doctrine and many views that democratic philosophy divided the unity of the country and deranged the community.  A former Indian foreign secretary commented in a book written by him that the last period of civil war in the country, Norway wanted to stop the killing of Prabhakaran and allow the terrorist leader to kill more people in the country.  Many time Western countries promised to provide financial support for economic revival but they never provided supports as promised.  During 2015 election, Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe who strongly opposed to Chinese assistance and later people saw that he was bow down to China looking for assistance. Some English journalists in Sri Lanka were of opinion that Mr. Wickramsinghe’s hate speeches against Chinese aid and China caused to Sri Lanka many consequences after 2015 elections and after the election, many Chinese aid projects halted and several big projects changed as the way China wanted.

One Response to “CHINA CAN HELP SRI LANKA TO BECOME A DEVELOPED NATION (PART 1)”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    The first step towards Chinese-backed prosperity is to set up Chinese military bases in the island. Without such a powerful deterrence, India will not allow Sri Lanka to prosper.

    I disagree on what’s said about Ranil. Although Ranil has his severe problems (and I don’t want to see him as Prime Minister or President), he deserves credit for Chinese investments in Sri Lanka. It was Ranil who brought China to Hambantota in 2003 (long before Mahinda even became Prime Minister). His speech in Beijing in August 2003 attracted the attention of the Chinese governing council – an extremely rare occurance. I doubt any other Sri Lankan leader was awarded that opportunity.

    Those who are unaware of this must do their research.

    Ranil camp’s idiotic comments against China in 2014 and 2015 were more than reversed in 2016 when Hambantota was leased to China and Chinese effective stake in Port City had to be enhanced (for Ranil’s fault). Both are moves in the right direction. He also promised 15,000 acres of land for Chinese investments which is yet another bold and progressive move. His latest move to borrow $1 billion from China for road construction work is to be commended provided it adds to the economy more than the repayment and interest.

    Despite his well known alignment with the West, Ranil took an unprecedentedly bold move towards China in 2017 when he left the island to participate in the OBOR Initiative in China. His preparations were made when Modi was in the island! It was an unprecedentedly bold move unknown in Sri Lanka. Giving credit where it is due is a Sinhala value that must be upheld. It does not mean praising Ranil who unfortunately has more bad than good.

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