Aren’t we going too far to develop tourism, and shouldn’t we be more selective in accepting foreign investment?
Posted on November 16th, 2011

By Charles.S.Perera

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ At last we know, that Sri Lanka is not to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Mr.Sunil Gunawardhana a veteran Sri Lanka athlete and coach has bemoaned that Sri Lanka had been denied the occasion after a thirty year war in its effort to reconcile the communities by uncaring sportive bigwigs of the Commonwealth Games Federation voting 43 to 27 in favour of Australia.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Those who voted against Sri Lanka were undoubtedly, mostly politically motivated Westerners against developing Nation breaking new grounds in economic and social development. It was expected , that despite the West becoming failed Nations to still bellow their war cries of NATO, and naval and air power in their united front against developing countries. The 43-27 vote is another victory they claim over a developing poor nation after its failure to reprimand and send it to their ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-political gallowsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ for violation of human rights at the CHOGM meeting in Australia.

A pavement hawker Pradeep Silva, had said , “Why can’t they give us a chance , This is the so-called mentality those rich countries still maintain. They think they are still the colonial masters, we have to obey them. I am happy that at least Sri Lanka made an effort.” How correct and that is how our ordinary people feels despite what ever the BBC, Reuters, Agence France Press of the foreign Media, the websites Sri Lanka Guardian, Transcurrent, TamilNet and Ground view , Al Jazeera and UKChannel 4 may have to say.

Sri Lanka today is a greater nation than the 47 nations that voted against us to keep the Commonwealth Games with them. Because within a short time after elimination of a ruthless terrorism, Sri Lanka has come out of its ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-povertyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ label to become a middle income Nation. That is no small achievement to a developing country that it was.

Now it is time to turn to events taking place in Sri Lanka and question whether we are doing the right thing, and whether the Government should not be more precautious in some of its more ambitious undertakings. Tourism is a great money earner. Today it has become the number one preoccupation of the government as a source of income. But do we ask ourselves, whether we are not over doing to make money on tourism ?

We cannot forget that tourism also has its disadvantages and a perilous dark-side. Sri Lanka seems to be on its way to jump the boundaries, if the Government would not draw in reins. There is news of prostitution in a big way drawing in women from East Europe, while even some of our young film artists are being put on show cases of notoriety. There are also news of Casinos for tourists and some even promoting tourist resorts for nudists. Russia became very rich very quickly and is now in the grips of a moral decadence and fear of mafia.

What more is in stock in Sri Lanka by way of pleasing the foreign tourists specially those from the West ? Some time back there was talk, of special plane loads of rich Germans taken to Philippines for sex tours arranged for them , the baits being young girls, and pedophilia. It was recently reported by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) that they had received more than 7,000 complaints of child abuse since it established a telephone hotline.

Are these children only those sexually abused or molested by their parents, guardians or people known to them, and are they children in out-of-home care, mainly living in foster homes or with relatives ?

There were some time back rumours that children, whose mothers have left to Middle East for domestic service leaving the children in the care of grand mothers or the fathers were being ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚« taken for prostitution ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚» in hotels. Not only the Children but women working as machinists in some workshops were made to prostitute by the workshop owners. These reports must be taken seriously by the government and serious investigations made, before it goes out of control.

Any projects and enterprises should have limits, but in Sri Lanka their seems to be too much of a hurry to promote tourism as the main money earner, therefore there is a dangerous attempt to provide tourists every thing they may demand.

Lot of statistics are being given about the numbers of tourist arrivals, but little is said about the earnings. Are we really earning enough to setoff our financial commitments to make tourists happy ? Is the income from tourism justifiably high compared to the expenditure on account of it?

The tourists coming to Sri Lanka should be given a Sri Lankan vacation in keeping with our cultural values they can enjoy, that should be the criteria to attract tourists.

But do we respect that principle or are we turning our tourist industry to keep in line with Western tourist resorts ? If we have to spend large sums of money to import foreign alcoholic drinks, and aliments in keeping with Western tastes, and import cutlery, table wear and interior decorations to be tasteful in the Western sense, the income over expenditure may not be very much, and the vacation in Sri Lanka will fail to reach national standard of hospitality.

Even the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s natural heritage it had been said is in danger, by constructing roads and constructing hotels close to these protected areas. We cannot sacrifice everything in the name of tourism. In the West money is everything. They even put people to risk without taking timely action to prevent accidents not wanting to spend more than what they think is necessary keeping an eye on the benefits.

Even the death of passengers in a Concord that met with an accident after the burst of a wheel, it is said that the authorities knew of the defect months earlier but hat failed to take appropriate action to replace the wheels causing the accident.

Are we also putting money before people ? Is money every thing ? Should not we put at least a temporary halt to unnecessary expenditure to give us time to reflect whether such expenditure is necessary or not?

It was recently reported that a large extent of land in Sabaragamuwa is to be handed over to a company for a golf course. Is that really necessary ? How many of the tourists come toSri Lanka to play golf ? IsnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t our land more important than to construct golf courses ? Even in the West many golf courses are used only by the rich and those who could afford and that is not much ? A golf course as much as a Nudist Camp are not essential elements to develop tourism in Sri Lanka.

While the Government speaks of poverty elimination, it appears that attempts are being made to enrich some, at the cost of others.

It is not correct that our ancient Tanks are converted to provide joy rides motor boats without taking into consideration pollution to the environment.

In Fiji they say the land belongs to the people and foreign investors are given leases of land to construct hotels or other business venture. In Sri Lanka it is said that prime land even in Colombo are sold outright. If that is how foreign investment is encouraged, the Government should re-think about the advisability of such methods of dealing with what belongs to the people.

The least seriously taken other foreign exchange earner is the Sri Lanka middle and lower class women sent to Arab countries as maids. Much has been written about their maltreatment by the Arab employers, and the suicide committed by some unable to bear the physical and mental torture they are subjected to by their Muslim Arab employers. There are others who return with nails driven into their bodies.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The last sad news about our ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-maidsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ abroad is about a body of a dead Maid returned to Sri Lanka without her internal organs. For how long is the government prepared to tolerate these savagery of the Muslim Arabs employing our women not as their servants ; but as their slaves making them their personal chattel, with rights over their bodies and lives ?

Finally it is about the still more dangerous situation that 62 500 hectares of land said to have been ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-givenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ to the American Fruit Company Dole. It was reported in the Sunday Times of the 21 August, 2011, that , ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-State lands, including the region around the Somawathie Chaitiya Sanctuary have been issued to an American fruit company for banana cultivation, in various parts of the country, according to environmentalists.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- The company Dole, has acquired 62,500 hectares in the following areas – Buttala, Uva Kudaoya, Galle, Puttalam, Dambulla and Somawathie, without obtaining the required Environment Impact Assessment (EIA).

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The lands belong to several State bodies including the Mahaweli Authority, Forest and Wildlife Departments, and the Viharadevalagam (temple). ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-About 3,000 hectares in Uva Kudaoya, given to the company, is very valuable because of its rich biodiversity and water resources,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ said Centre for Environmental Studies National Coordinator Ravindra Kariyawasam.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-About 500 hectares of land along the Menik Ganga reservation, 15,000 hectares in the Kantale region and 11,600 hectares in the Somawathie area have been given to the company, he added. He said the farmers in Uva Kudaoya were involved in chena and paddy cultivation before the company established the banana cultivation, but now the farmers are working for Dole. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-

It is well know that the American Fruit Companies have caused dangerous political instability in countries where they had grabbed land to open fruit plantations, turning them in to ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚« Banana Republics ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚». Some of them like the United Fruit Company of American become a law unto themselves using the land as they want without respect to natural resources , the danger to human and animal lives by using dangerous fertilizers and the countries made poorer by the people been exploited, and depriving them of their own cultivation for their livelihood.

It was Jamaika that was taken over to promote large scale Banana production by Captain Laurenzo D.Baker, followed by Henry Meigs to feed the railroad workers . Meigs began the Tropical Trade and Transporting company which later became the United Fruit Company.

Honduras saw two Fruit Companies (the United Fruit Company and the Cuyamel Banana Company) vying for land rights and employment of workers. In 1911 one company hired mercenaries to effect a coup dƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢etat to dispose Miguel R.Davila the President of Honduras. The Fruit Company deposed the President Davila and installed Manuel Bonilla as a puppet President, which resulted in Honduras becoming a poor Banana Republic.

With regard to Guatamala it has been reported , that it became a Banana Republic because of the , ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- inequitably distributed agricultural land and natural wealth uneven economic development, and an economy dependent upon a few export crops, usually bananas, coffee, sugar cane. The inequitable land distribution is the principal cause of national poverty and the low quality of Guatemalan life, and the concomitant socio-political discontent and insurrection. Almost 90 per cent of the country’s farms are too small to yield adequate subsistence harvests to the farmers, whilst two per cent of the country’s farms occupy 65 per cent of the arable land, property of the local oligarchy.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ (wikipedia)

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ This is the new global land and water grab by American Fruit Companies. America Dole Food Company is a multinational cooperation. Dole had been named as a defendant in a murder case in which it was accused of causing death through paramilitary violence in Colombia.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Again in Nicaragua a lawyer Juan Donguez sued Dole for use of pesitcies-Nemagon which sterilesed the workers. The law suit was refused by the law courts in California on testimony that the plaintiffs did not work in the DoleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s plantations. But, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-A lawyer for the Nicaraguans, Steve Condie, however, stated that some of the witnesses who gave testimony that the claims were fraudulent, had been paid by Dole. The witnesses’ identities were kept secret so that the plaintiffs’ lawyers could not interview themƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Dole company bribed judges and witnesses and the lawyers representing the plaintiffs were accused of ethics violations.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚« Swedish director Federic Gertten made a documentary film about Dominguez and the alleged banana workers. The movie Bananas-premiered in the 2009 LosAngeles Film Festival. Because Dole had serious concerns on what the film might reveal to the public, it urged festival officials to “immediately cease and desist” their sponsorship of the film.

The festival officials allowed the film to be screened, but it was not allowed to compete for placement in the competition. In addition, festival officials distributed information before the film’s screening that indicated Dole believed the film to be factually inaccurate.

Although the film was screened with a disclaimer from the festival, Gertten was subsequently sued for defamation by Dole.The lawsuit was dropped on October 15 2009, and in November 2010 a court in Los Angeles found in favour of the movie crew making it possible to release the movie in the USA, and ordering Dole to pay SEK 1.4 million (roughly USD 200,000) to the filmmakers.

The last Nicaraguan DBCP awards against Dole were overturned in July 2010. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚»

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Has the Government investigated and taken precautions to avoid what happened in Guatamala, Colombia, Nicaragua and also in Philipines, happening in our poor Sri Lanka in giving land to open fruit farms to the Global land and water grabbers the Dole Fruit Company of America ?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It is far better land is given to our own people for cultivation on a co-operative basis. In France there are small plots of wine yard holders who cooperate to have their own appellation controlled wine . Even in Sri Lanka I think those people who hold small plots of tea land sell their product together to buyers.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There are some enterprises run by the workers. Sri Lanka could follow this cooperative system to run plantations of Banana , the non profit making Companies that had been taken over by the Government, or even the Embilipitiya Paper Mill.

 

20 Responses to “Aren’t we going too far to develop tourism, and shouldn’t we be more selective in accepting foreign investment?”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Charles,

    Those 47 countries had a very bad experience in New Dehli games. According to them, New Delhi games was a disaster. Lousy houses, small TVs, no hot water, filth in rooms, very ppor transport and entertainment facilities, very small dwellings, etc, etc.

    In frustration a group of Australian athletes threw their TVs out the windows!

    Not acceptable conduct. But from their point of view, they want better facilities.

    And they fear SL would be the same which is not true. SL could have done much better than New Delhi.

    That is why they voted for Australia. They should have given us a chance.

    But lets wait and see how Gold Coast will hold the games. They are not perfect. Commonwealth sham!

  2. AnuD Says:

    I don’t Agree with Lorenzo. Sri Lanka is not India.

    I think, Australia may have lobbied with foreign aids and other kind of favours to some of these countries.

  3. Geeth Says:

    Charles,
    Haven’t we all ended up in lost hope and lost faith due to these failed economic policies?

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Charles says : “In Sri Lanka it is said that prime land even in Colombo are sold outright”.
    We think that foreign companies should only hold land on Lease. Sri Lanka is a small country. Some Caution & Wisdom are words for GoSL in quest of quick growth.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    AnuD,

    I’m not saying it will be like India if we had hosted the event. No way! We would do a much better job than the lousy Indian event.

    The pont is for the 47 countries that supported the GC bid, SL=India. Obviously they are ignorant of the fact we can do a good job.

    On the other hand, cricket WC ended up with a massive loss to SL.

    If this is the case, it is better not to hold it.

    If it would be better managed, we could have hosted it but not otherwise.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    That MOST FOOLISH Indian film festival was another hoax that costed the country.

  7. dhane Says:

    Gold Cost is famous for bad weather condition.

  8. Christie Says:

    Ceylon has alwas being a country for tourits.

    I appreciate Hon Sirimavo for being the initiator of modern tourism in Ceylon as well as for the Sirima Shastri Pact.

    The main reason for the powerty in Ceylon is the same reason for powerty in Kenya, Fiji etc.

    More than half of the income in Ceylon ends up in India. Just go for a walk in Pettah and other parts of Colombo and other main towns.

    There are hardly any local business people in the country. The so called 1956 revolution destroyed the rising local business persons by nationalisation of their businesses. Not a single Indian business was affected by the 1956 revolution.

    Successive governments hardly helped the locals to become business men. Indians were always supported by most of the politicians as they gave funds for the favourations.

    It is time for the locals to unite and demand their rights.

  9. cassandra Says:

    As AnuD notes, Sri Lanka is not India but Lorenzo makes a very valid point – the New Delhi experience could well have influenced some countries.

    I am disappointed to the author of this article saying, “Those who voted against Sri Lanka were undoubtedly, mostly politically motivated Westerners”. I don’t know the basis for his statement but it is interesting to note the Mayor of the Gold Coast has said that the votes of African countries were decisive in his city winning its bid. And you can hardly describe African countries as being “politically motivated Westerners|”.

    The author’s statement also assumes that Sri Lanka did in fact have a better ‘case’ and made a convincing presentation. If so, he has offered no evidence of that; merely repeated familiar anti Western sentiments.

    It is pertinent to ask if it made sense for Sri Lanka to have made a bid for the Games, in the first place. The fact that in the end there were only two bidders – just two! – tells its own story. Are the Games ‘worth it’ and where do they sit in the order of the nation’s priorities? To me, the Games are not worth it and are certainly low down in the nation’s priorities. A member of the South Australian government had said after Adelaide decided not to proceed with its bid, that there were more pressing projects including a new hospital, to consider. And the Prime Minister of New Zealand which also decided not to proceed with a bid to host the Games had explained that it would have involved a loss to his country of NZ$ 600,000,000. Both gentlemen show admirable good sense.

    Sri Lanka is fresh from co-hosting the Cricket World Cup but it seems that resulted in a substantial loss, not the healthy profit it was expected to generate. And what is more, the accounting has been so bad that we don’t even know the exact extent of the loss! This is not the sort of track record that will help when you make a bid to host another international event.

    There are more pressing issues than the Games for the government to address. For the average citizen getting some relief from the ever increasing cost of living is more important than mega projects of doubtful prestige but no tangible reward.

    I believe Sri Lankans should not be unhappy that the country’s bid failed. The Games will have been another white elephant bringing not only financial disaster but great damage to the surrounding environment.

    As for the real topic of the article about tourism and some issues relating to it, I think the author has raised some very important points. Tourism is not an unmixed blessing. Along with the money, it can also bring a whole host of undesirable things, as many countries who have embraced it enthusiastically have found out. Tourism can have a very corrupting influence on moral and social values. Respondent Lasantha Pethiyagoda has dealt with these at some length. The government does indeed have to be selective in the investments it allows and the nature of businesses it approves.

  10. Kit Athul Says:

    Christi, please tell the readers where this Ceylon is? What you Tamils do not want to say is Sri Lanka! And her great constitution and the executive presidency created by Late J.R. Jayawardane, which led to Mahinda Rajapakse’s final anahalation of Tamil Nadu Tamil Terrorists.

  11. Christie Says:

    It was Jambudweepa.

    Different people from Indian sub continent referred to it as Lanka or Lankadweepa from the time of Rawana.

    Vistors from Middle East and the East like China called it Selan, Seylan, Xylon etc referring to the Sinhalese people who lived in the island. It finally became Ceylon a proper name that referred to the inhabitants who lived there for hundreds of thousands of years.

    Indians and Tamils hve managed to brainwash the locals to accept Sri Lanka as the name because that is what Indians call it.

    Tamils call it Ilankeiand Tamils have managed to achive one of thier goals, that is to remove the people of the country form their countries name.

  12. Christie Says:

    Ceylon should go back to the times of Gal Oya era and use local finance and people to delop the country.

    Landlessness is the highest among the Sinhalese today.

    Government before 1956 took positive steps to empower the poor Sinhalese.

    The 1956 revolution orchestrated with Indian money wiped it out.

    The current government has an obligation to give land to the landless Sinhalese.

  13. May182009 Says:

    We 100% agree with Christie.

    We have to go back to that pre-1956 era of proper land management.

    Unfortunately in 1956 Hon SWRD Bandaranaike government and his wife’s and daughter’s governments stopped ‘Janapadakaranaya’ which is the main reason for unrest, poverty, violence and problems.

    SWRD Bandaranaike did good things as well but this grave mistake eclipsed all that.

    It is DS Senanayake, not SWRD Bandaranaike is the father of the nation.

  14. Christie Says:

    It is one of the reasons why Indians in Ceylon and India financed SWRD and continued to do so. I have heard they are going to finance CBK again with the JVP and the UNP.

    Mythripala was the mininster of Irrigation from 1956 and you know what followed. His ran the Irrigation department. Just ask any employee.

  15. Charles Says:

    Cassandra Comments on my anti Western bias, and he thinks he is justified.

    Who voted for or against Sri Lanka’s application to host 2013 Commonwealth Games is not known. But following excerpt from a report may give an idea of how the voting may have proceeded.

    « Hambantota 2018’s chances of making it the winning bid would be boosted by a guaranteed vote base from the Asian, African and the Caribbean regions. In contrast, Gold Coast would pin its hopes on voting that they lobby mainly from European, Americas and Oceania regions.
    Out of six continents, Africa has the highest number of 18 member states in the CGF with the Caribbean having the second highest number of 15. The other member countries which will be eligible for voting would be 13 from Oceania and eight each from Asia, Americas and Europe. »

    There is no doubt that the Western countries may have voted en-block against Sri Lanka followed by others for political and other reasons. Sri Lanka certainly had a better case to present itself as a candidate to host the Commonwealth Games as it has within two years after elimination of a ruthless terrorism, which had eaten into its human, material and territorial resources for thirty long years, made a remarkable ascension into a middle income group.

    The Western Countries which should have applauded its achievement as an example for other developing countries who are far behind that remarkable achievement of Sri Lanka, thought it fit to accuse Sri Lanka for violation of human rights in the elimination of terrorism. Developing countries achieving economic development would be an asset to developed countries.

    We trusted and respected the Europeans and sought to emulate them often harping on their justice and fair play, readiness to commend others for their efforts of development , and their democratic out look.
    But we saw their true “visage “only after Sri Lanka single handed won terrorism through a military solution.

    The Government of Sri Lanka’s military operations were not directed at any time against the Tamil people, though the self interested Tamils like those of the TNA Anandasangaree, Kumar David, Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu and Jehan Perera try to make out that the Sri Lanka’s war against terrorism was a war against the Tamils.

    The stand taken by both David Cameron and Stephen Harper in Australia at the CHOGM was deplorable.

    There aren’t many European citizens who write in defense of Sri Lanka though they make a terrorism free Sri Lanka their favourite tourist destination.

  16. Charles Says:

    I left out answering Cassandra’s pertinent question, whether it made sense for Sri Lanka to have made a bid for the Games, in the first place ?

    Perhaps he does not known that Hambantotata a few years back was a poor remote area of Sri Lanka. All development projects by previous governments were for the Western, Central and few other Districts and the South was left as it was poor and undeveloped.

    The selection of Hambantota to host the Commonwealth games would have,

    (i) helped the further development of the neglected South.

    (ii) It would have also enriched the country attracting larger numbers of foreign visitors,

    (iii) earned foreign exchange by leasing the stadiums constructed for the Commonwealth Games for International Sports events.

    (iv) It would also have been an impetus of our own local sports men and women to work hard to participate in more ambitions fields of sports competitions such as the Olympic Games

    Australia had apparently hosted the Commonwealth Games on four previous occasions, why not therefore select a fast developing country like Sri Lanka to givie it an opportunity to host the Commonwealth Games ?

  17. Marco Says:

    Judging by letters in local newspapers and comments on Lankan websites most Lankans are very pleased Gold Coast won the bid. Phew! Locals in Hambantota are even more pleased. Local fishermen in Hambantota have yet to receive full compensation following the reclaiming of land on the Hambantota Port project.

    The author in his numbers game places the blame on the “Western” world. If we look closely at the numbers it is quite apparent Sri Lanka could not even muster the votes from all African (20) and Asian (14) countries. Blaming it on the Western world is a familiar and monotonous excuse.
    http://www.thecgf.com/countries/

    Sri Lanka ended with 27 of the possible 34 non-western nations. That is itself is a very poor showing considering the 160 SL representatives as opposed to the 20 Gold Coast representatives attending the event.

    SL presentation admittedly a slick one carried a lot of “baggage” from day one.
    – The perennial question of human rights issues
    – Hambantota is a virtual bid as opposed to the Gold Coast has in place 80% of the infrastructure in place.
    – Hambantota Port issues. Depth of the port and re-insurance policy issues.
    – Cricket World Cup venues and facilities inadequate and late in completion together with the loss overall together with the farcical allocation of tickets to the general public.
    – Adverse statements on the COHGM being held in SL by the Canadian and Aus Politicians
    – Why Hambantota? – Was it politically driven?
    – Better use of the financial resources to re-build on more urgent and essential developments.
    – Possibility of boycotts similar to the IIFA awards ceremony.

    Hambantota has always been a thriving town/city with its close proximity to all the travellers to Kataragama, Yala and sea resorts.

    Is the Commonwealth Games a “high profile” Sporting event that SL needs to stage at this juncture?

  18. Rohan8 Says:

    Christie Ceylon is now called Sri Lanka. I don’t know how long since you have visited Sri Lanka. Seems like a very long time certainly more than 4 decades! But it may have escaped your attention that there was a name change to the country in 1972. It was renamed Sri Lanka by the Sinhalese people. It would be proper to call the country by the name Sri Lankans preferred it to be called by. That is Sri Lanka.

  19. Christie Says:

    It is time for the non-Indians in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) open their minds and see what has happened in that country afterv 1951.
    The Sinhalese have dissapeard from the country of ther birth. There are new breed of people known as Sri lankans or Lankans.

    The language and the culture is dissapering and is Indianised or Tamilised by the day. This remind me one lanka saying Parippu is the national dish of Sri Lanka.

    Indian brainwashing and Indian hedgemoney has achived their goals and Tamils have attained ther goals.

  20. cassandra Says:

    Charles,

    Thank you for the comments

    You have provided an extract from a report which you say “may give an idea of how the voting may have proceeded”. For my part, I cannot see that it provides any guide to the voting. If it does, it is a very misleading idea that it conveys. The end result shows that the “guaranteed vote base from the Asian, African and the Caribbean regions” that the article said would boost the case for Hambantota, was not there or was too small to matter. The result also showed that the voting did not follow along regional lines as envisaged in the article.

    As I stated before, it seemed that the African vote was crucial. The Mayor of the Gold Coast, to whom I referred, is Ron Clarke, the former Australian athlete and Bronze Medalist at the 1964 Olympics. One of the Australian delegates at St Kitts, he is reported to have secured the help of Olympic Gold Medalist, Kip Keino, the current chairman of the Kenyan Olympic committee, to win over African votes. Clarke is quoted as saying, “Keino is a great buddy and he is revered throughout Africa. He acted as our unofficial ambassador for the week. He holds great standing and they listen to what he has to say. He helped spread the word.”

    I do not think Sri Lanka’s success in moving into a “middle income group” within a short period of defeating the LTTE, impressive as it is, made Hambantota’s bid the better one for that reason. Also I do not think the various other things you have stated – the alleged failure of the West to applaud Sri Lanka’s achievements, the fact that “Sri Lanka’s military operations were not directed at any time against the Tamil people” and so on – are really relevant to a discussion of the merits of Hambantota’s bid.

    In regard to the benefits which you have listed would have accrued to Hambantota, I don’t deny there would be advantages, even if some of what you have shown is debatable. But you also have to consider the potential negatives. My point was – and remains – that on balance, the Games were not ‘worth it’, and there are more pressing issues for the government to address.

    Hambantota’s bid for the Games was lost, after a fair bidding process, by a healthy margin of 16 votes. Defeat is never pleasant. It gives you nothing to cheer. But it needs to be accepted with good grace. Failure to do so will demonstrate a lack of sportsmanship, something that a sporting event by its very nature surely demands.

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