1.5 C
London
Saturday, January 16, 2021

Can Burma Leapfrog Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa delive...

Forbes
With the rapid-fire opening of Burma/Myanmar stemming from apparently real reforms under new President Thein Sein, an intriguing regional competition may develop.  Across the Andaman Sea lies another economic laggard of recent decades, Sri Lanka.  Will the Burmese leapfrog it?
To the degree the Burmese closed economy has been measurable, its output has lagged Sri Lanka’s by GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity. This, despite the fact that Burma’s population is considerably larger.  The two countries share a sorry recent history of socialist and/or kleptocrat rulers who deprived their countrymen of what appeared to be prosperous times in the post-colonial independence that followed World War II.  (Both were once huge rice exporters, for example.)

But a wave of excitement has swept through international investors as Burma’s latently rich natural-resource economy–and remarkable human resources–may be opened up to global markets. Sri Lanka, to be sure, for a time inspired hope following conclusion of its long, bloody civil war between the Sinalhese government and the Tamil Tiger warlords in 2009.

However, the conquering majority in Sri Lanka apparently is not making good on those hopes, continuing policies that repress the potentially productive Tamils (and stifling a free press as well). The ungenerous leadership of  President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his coterie threatens to delay further the realization of Sri Lankan promise, beyond the opening of a few nice tourist beaches.

Might it be that the best hope for the Tamil people and so many others in their nation rests in the government of a country, Burma, whose rulers themselves have waged harsh war on dissident ethnics? Competition finds a way to influence even where justice seems denied by the authorities

photo: Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa  (AFP/Getty Images via @daylife
FORBES

Archive

Latest news

Sri Lanka: A Return to Threats & Fear; Crackdown on Critics, Disregard for Accountability

Inmates protest on the roof a prison building calling for speedier judicial processes and increased protection amid rising cases of Covid-19, Colombo, Sri Lanka,...

Sri Lanka: Despite police intimidation prayer weak for the release of Tamil political prisoners held successfully

Families of Tamil political prisoners, civil society organizations and civilians of North East Sri-Lanka launched a weeklong prayer campaign from 7th to 14th January...

Joint Statement against the Sri Lankan Government: Memorials can be destroyed, not memories

Image courtesy heartresearch.com.au. Joint Statement against the Sri Lankan Government for the continued destruction of the people's fundamental rights and reconciliation process! Memorials can be destroyed,...

Sri Lanka: acquittal emblematic of the State’s failure to ensure accountability   

The ICJ today deplored the comprehensive failure of the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure accountability for conflict-era crimes, marked by the dropping of charges...

Related news

Sri Lanka: A Return to Threats & Fear; Crackdown on Critics, Disregard for Accountability

Inmates protest on the roof a prison building calling for speedier judicial processes and increased protection amid rising cases of Covid-19, Colombo, Sri Lanka,...

Sri Lanka: Despite police intimidation prayer weak for the release of Tamil political prisoners held successfully

Families of Tamil political prisoners, civil society organizations and civilians of North East Sri-Lanka launched a weeklong prayer campaign from 7th to 14th January...

Joint Statement against the Sri Lankan Government: Memorials can be destroyed, not memories

Image courtesy heartresearch.com.au. Joint Statement against the Sri Lankan Government for the continued destruction of the people's fundamental rights and reconciliation process! Memorials can be destroyed,...

Sri Lanka: acquittal emblematic of the State’s failure to ensure accountability   

The ICJ today deplored the comprehensive failure of the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure accountability for conflict-era crimes, marked by the dropping of charges...