Category Archives: growth pole

The Development of Transportation in Ceylon, 1800-1947

L. A. Wickremeratne aka Ananda Wickremeratne**

The history of transportation in Ceylon forms an interesting backdrop to the economic developments of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the beginning of the nineteenth century however, military exigencies rather than economic considerations were the determining factors in the construction of roads by the colonial government. Understandably, much attention was centered on the recently acquired Kandyan territories over which the British were determined to strengthen their hold.

The Satinwood Bridge at Peradeniya (a description questioned by /Gerald Peiris)

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Ways of Regenerating Sri Lanka’s Economy: An Integrated Kick-Start Scheme

    Anton Balasuriya

Abstract: This paper details the concept of economic development to jump start the rural economy and alleviate poverty beyond COVID 19.The strategy is to combine the presently available infrastructure and administrative facilities and bring a new dimension of human motivation factors, as well as, to adding new resources to strength the weak areas and those that are non-existent presently.

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The Benefits from the Hambantota Port Project: Mathews faces Perera Head-On

An Email Memo from Gus Mathews addressing His Schoolmate Prithi Perera,[1] 22 September 2021 … with highlighting and End Notes being impositions of The Editor, Thuppahi

Prithi, we will not concur on this debate about Hambantota and I wish to conclude this discussion. But before I go let me take you up on India being a friendly country to Sri Lanka. While Sri Lanka wants a friendly relationship with India, it does not want to be a vassal state of India.

Recent events have proved that India is not to be trusted. India trained, armed and let loose the LTTE in Sri Lanka to murder 100,000 Sri Lankan civilians. Many Presidents could not defeat the LTTE and one Sri Lankan President paid the ultimate price. The LTTE became powerful and even defeated the IPKF. Unfortunately, India will never learn that interference in Sri Lanka is detrimental to India too – my case in point is the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE.[2] Finally, it was left to Mahinda Rajapakse who gave the political will[3] and Gotabhaya Rajapakse who banged the heads of the Service Chiefs to strategise the ultimate demise of the LTTE.

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Addressing Hostility to China from Sri Lankan Commentators

A Memo from “Fair Dinkum” to Michael Roberts, 21 September 2021 ….with highlighting imposed by The Editor, ThppHI Nmwly, Michael

Michael,

I was glancing at some of the comments on the latest Hambantota piece. I am mystified as to why some Sri Lankans are so hostile to Chinese investment.

To touch on one specific point:  One person who posted a message could only highlight three instances of Chinese interventions. In truth, two of those were not intervention; namely, the 1962 India conflict and China-Vietnam conflict. India had provoked China in 1962. China decided to send a message to India. They crossed the border into Indian territory and seized 45,000 sq km of land, but then suddenly withdrew. In other words, China never intended to take control but simply wanted to show India they could do so if provoked. It’s a Chinese strategy. These two were small conflicts and were not about taking control of India or Vietnam. So, I’m afraid these are not good examples to use against China.  By contrast the US has overthrown over 72 governments, were implicated in the deaths of millions in Indonesia in the 1960s, as one example, but similar patterns can be found in the other 72.

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The Hambantota Port Debate: Common Sense from the Sideline

The momentous issues arising from the development of Hambantota port and its associated ancillaries has now generated some commentary from Sri Lankan patriots on the sidelines …. And, in some cases, far afield in UK and Australia. It is a measure of the common sense and intelligence reposing in personnel we could frame as “Citizens Perera or Silva” that these comments have been deemed worthy of airing in the pages of Thuppahi. While Michael Obeyesekere happens to be related to one of my brothers-in-law (now deceased), Gus Mathews is a recent email contact (via the brothers Rajeewa — alas no more with us–and Sanjeewa Jayaweera) and Prithi Perera is a total stranger…. A Note from The Editor, Thuppahi, 20 Septmber 2021

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A Momentous Issue: The Hambantota Port Project under Scrutiny in Thuppahi

Thuppahi is pleased to mark its intense interest in the Hambantota Port Project by listing its recent entries from a wide spectrum of authors located in Australia, England, USA and Sri Lanka. The bibliographies within these essays will also serve up further material.

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Pointers from Singapore towards the Appraisal of the Hambantota Port Scheme

Fair Dinkum

When Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore in 1819, the British set about creating the Port of Singapore. In time, with much hard work, the port became successful. In the 1960s, the Singapore government set about further expansions of its ports along the south of the island, with five additional gateways operating by the 1990s. It is now one of the biggest and busiest collection of ports in the world. Having visited these ports over the years, the scale of operations is extraordinary. The success of Singapore Ports was built up over time. It didn’t come easily or immediately. The same with the Piraeus Port in Greece, although it became successful and profitable quickly.

  Hambantota — a Pix and a Sketch

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The Internal Tussles, Vagaries and Scheming that Hindered the Development of the Hambantota Port Project

An Insider

Jonathan E. Hillman, 26 August 2021, whose title runs thus: “The Secret History of Hambantota” …. Starts his write up If Chinese loans were cigarettes, Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port would be the cancerous lung on the warning label. Some observers have pointed to the underperforming port and alleged that China is using “debt trap diplomacy,” This statement reflects Hillman’s intention of using Hambantota port to discredit China. Taking a similar line Fair Dinkum in his “American Schemes of Global Bifurcation behind Hillman’s story on Hambantota Port” is critical of the messenger rather than being responsive to the message.+++

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No Debt Trap at Hambantota: False Picture on China’s Role

Deborah Brautigam & Meg Rithmire,  in The Atlantic, 6 February 2021, where the title is The Chinese ‘Debt Trap’ Is a Myth “

The narrative wrongfully portrays both Beijing and the developing countries it deals with. China, we are told, inveigles poorer countries into taking out loan after loan to build expensive infrastructure that they can’t afford and that will yield few benefits, all with the end goal of Beijing eventually taking control of these assets from its struggling borrowers. As states around the world pile on debt to combat the coronavirus pandemic and bolster flagging economies, fears of such possible seizures have only amplified.

Ben Shmulevitch

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The Story behind the Rise of Hambantota Port: An American Twist

Jonathan E. Hillman, 26 August 2021, whose title runs thus:The Secret History of Hambantota” ….  while the presentation here is marked by the imposition of highlights, let me prefigure the prospect of critical commentary from knowledgeable specialists sought out by Thuppahi.

If Chinese loans were cigarettes, Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port would be the cancerous lung on the warning label. Some observers have pointed to the underperforming port and alleged that China is using “debt trap diplomacy,” loading countries up with loans and seizing strategic assets after they cannot repay. Others have argued that Sri Lanka, not China, is responsible for its debt woes. The debate is important for understanding the risks lurking in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, especially as the pandemic pushes more of China’s borrowers to the brink.

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