3 Articles About Sri Lanka That Caught Our Eyes


Here are 3 articles relating to Sri Lanka that caught our eyes recently.

1. Post War Sri Lanka’s Awkward Peace from The New York Times:

Image sourced from The New York Times.

“As soon as the war ended, the feedback we got in Jaffna was that buses and buses of Singhalese are going to Jaffna out of curiosity,” said Silan Kadirgamar, 80, a Tamil historian who lives in Colombo. “They came with their own cooking utensils and food, and they sat on the ground and ate. They didn’t go there to meet Tamils.” Read the complete article here.

2. Devastating 2004 tsunami Moved Canadian Couple to help Sri Lanka rebuild, and they’re still going back from National Post:

Image sourced from National Post.

“I festered over it for a week, tossing and turning, and I kept thinking how I needed to go there,” she says. “I kept thinking: It is time to get off your ass and do something.” Read the complete article here.

3. What to Eat in Colombo, Sri Lanka from The Washington Post:

SL food
Image sourced from The Washington Post.

“The Sri Lankan “bath” packet, which translates to rice packet, is the island’s answer to the Japanese bento box. These paper-wrapped rice and curry meals are available from kades on the corners, road-side sellers with a styrofoam box, and lately online as well. These savvy cooks know that what every working stiff wants is a good lunch.” Read the complete article here.

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3 thoughts on “3 Articles About Sri Lanka That Caught Our Eyes

  1. From the UN: Sri Lanka is categorized as “High Human development”. On the UN’s 2014 Human Development Index, Sri Lanka ranks #73, ahead of European countries including Serbia (77), Ukraine (83) and Macedonia (84). India ranks 135. Pakistan and Bangladesh are at 142 and 146 respectively.
    From the IMF: Sri Lanka just reached “middle-income country” status. Sri Lanka’s GDP Per Capita (PPP) is $6,046 (India’s is $3,843).
    From the World Bank: “The Sri Lankan economy has seen robust annual growth at 6.4 percent over the course of 2003 to 2012, well above its regional peers. Following the end of the civil conflict in May 2009, growth rose initially to 8 percent… Sri Lanka experienced a big decline in poverty between 2002 and 2009 – from 23 percent to 9 percent of the population.”

  2. “In many ways, Sri Lanka is a development success story. Its economy has been growing steadily and this has lifted millions of people out of poverty and boosted shared prosperity. 
    Moving higher up on the economic ladder, however, will require addressing new challenges involving bold decisions.
    Sri Lanka’s social achievements are impressive. Since the war ended in May 2009, economic growth has been robust (at an average of 7.4%) and prosperity has been spread widely despite a difficult external environment due to the global financial crisis. 
    Sri Lanka stands out as a lower middle-income country in a region that hosts the world’s greatest concentration of poor.
    The number of people living in poverty in Sri Lanka has fallen to 9 percent in 2009 from 23 percent in 2002. 
    Measures of education, health and life expectancy are amongst the highest in South Asia and compare well to countries around the world with similar per capita income. 
    The potential for Sri Lanka is huge.”


  3. I’ve often wondered why Sri Lanka is more prosperous compared to most of South Asia / Southeast Asia.
    Here are two critical things Sri Lanka did right very early on:
    (a) Sri Lanka’s early post-independence governments heavily in education and health care. 
    Schooling is compulsory and free. Basic health care is free. Everyone has access to a hospital or professionally trained nurse/midwife when giving birth. 
    As a result, SL has high literacy rates, high life expectancy and low infant mortality.
    (b) Sri Lanka enacted family planning initiatives early on. 
    Realizing it was only a tiny island, governments had the foresight to get a handle on a potential overpopulation problem before they ran out of land with too many mouths to feed. 
    Now Sri Lanka’s population has stabilized at 20 million people. Its population is barely growing. Even countries that had lower populations in the past now have populations far exceeding it. 
    High female literacy also contributed to declining fertility rates. Mass emigration and the war also contributed to its depopulation.

    The fact that Sri Lanka has an HDI above much of Eastern Europe despite 26 years of civil war is remarkable.
    Sri Lanka is only now reaping the economic dividends of its early social/human development investments. 
    With the civil war now over, Sri Lanka is taking off economically and may leave the rest of South Asia behind.

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