And for a Friday in the fabulously green and luxuriant island, Srilanka….. some thoughts…… some musings……
As head of a large MNC, Srilanka was part of my responsibility. I traveled quite often thru tough times in the country. The LTTE insurgency had torn the country apart. The violence, killings and disturbances were all so ghastly and unfortunate. Thankfully its all in the past. Srilanka is now progressing and bracing ahead. Apart from remittances from Srilankans working abroad, a big earner is Exports including Tea, Spices, Rubber, garments and of course Tourism is an important industry. Indians are the largest contingent of tourists followed now by the Chinese and the Europeans and a fair contingent of Germans.
Srilanka is geographically very ideally located. Often referred to as “Pearl of the Orient”, very friendly and endearing people, a large spread of cuisines and world class Hotels and Restaurents – eminently affordable, serene beaches, lovely countryside, cool heights in Nuwaraeliya with its large Tea plantations, picturesque Kandy – an ideal holiday getaway available at all price points.
In all neighboring SAARC countries, the economically domineering influence of China is now increasingly becoming very evident. They have moved in big time. China has financed and constructed a new harbour in Hambantota, a new International airport in Mattela, 300 acres of land reclaimed from sea in Port city of Colombo, 600 megawatt coal power plant in Norochcholai, a new Highway to Kandy from Colombo, railway lines – all under the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI). China has even converted some of the debt given by her into Equity in a number of these Projects. A well drawn out long term strategy for getting all of India’s friends and neighbors into their stranglehold.
Travelling out of India makes one even more aware of the need to strengthen our Country. Notwithstanding the Chinese Economic thrust, majority of Srilankans – heart of heart – love to be even more closer to the Indians. There is so much in common culturally. All our SAARC neighbors wish India to be as strong but not overbearing. They can then balance China. Lets all strive to help build our Nation the Economy way, the Ethical way, the SEEGOS way.