Can Sri Lanka become a World-Leading Country?

January 27, 2017

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This is a serious question. Countries go through their cycles, from powerful to dependent, from peasant and dominated to one of the world's biggest economies. Ultimately, I believe that each civilisation has their destiny.

 

Now, whilst I don't actually support nationalist policies or thinking, as we are all people of the same planet, there is a truth behind how communities evolve through different climates, social circumstances, national disaster events, as so on. In the case of Sri Lanka, this includes a 30-year Civil War, over 500 years of Colonialism, 1000 years + of dynastic expansion advances from Southern India, devastation caused by the 2004 Tsunami, and a rich diversity of climates throughout the land. And now we have peace, that so far has lasted 7-8 years, at a time when the world is experiencing a major shift in influence, power, intention, and dynamics. We are seeing many of the old Imperial nations struggling to maintain economies with a lifestyle built on past colonial exploits with increasing nationalism as a reaction to tougher times, some of the oldest civilisations that had largely been impoverished in the east finding their identities and embracing their new-found independence through some of the highest GDP growth in the world, and a world shifting away from fossil-fuel consumption and even more so focussing on scientific-lead innovations for more sustainable living. And I ask myself - where does Sri Lanka sit in all of this? Does it even matter? I mean, can't this just be a place for beaches and crab curry? I know - kothu rotti as well. This country has over 20m people, in a land where we do not have readily available hydro-carbon resources to plunder, have some of the best scientists, engineers and mathematicians (okay, accountants) in the world, and are positioned bang in the middle of East-Asia and the Middle East. And most importantly, this country has the wind of change in its back.

 

Given this circumstance, I think it is actually a fair question - why can't Sri Lanka become a World-Leading Country? The country has a period of peace ahead of it that will be sanctioned by a people not wanting any more interruptions to their happiness; a situation where they have no alternative but to innovate new sustainable energy-generation methods to survive and thrive; have experienced the pain of subjugation and war to be humble and brave in the face of future adversity, and thereby show others the power of courage with humility; a bare country that is starting 30+ years behind and so with the momentum of growth show others the strength one can build oneself up to if they stay focussed and disciplined.

 

In my opinion, this is just the beginning, and Sri Lanka can genuinely become a World-Leading country. We need to stop asking what others can do for us and how we can get this FDI or that deal to benefit this country, and instead ask how can we use what has been given to us to benefit others, in wisdom, skills, advice, and example. Anything is possible.

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