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Fnance minister Ravi Karunanayake urged private traders to import rice quickly after import taxes were slashed to help boost supplies after a rice crop failed. "You can bring rice from India for ...

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A friend sent me an interesting article that appeared in “The Telegraph”published in Kolkota (Calcutta). It is written by Alaka M.Basu who is a professor in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University,USA.

Ms.Basu was in Sri Lanka on a holiday recently and is captivated by its charm like most travellers to our lovely Island “where every prospect pleases”.

She has viewed Sri Lanka from the perspective of being an Indian woman and has compared and contrasted both countries based on her limited experience.

Since these “differences” pinpointed by her are complimentary to Sri Lanka I am tempted to repeat the famous French statement about the differences between women and men “Vive La Difference”.

Sri Lanka is largely self-sufficient in most animal products – apart from dairy. However, the consumption of dairy products has increased dramatically since the 1970s when the Government adopted open economic policies. Currently, Sri Lanka is about 15–20 percent self-sufficient with its milk products, though that level has been achieved mostly with imported milk powder.

The dairy industry has potential to contribute considerably to Sri Lanka’s economic development. A traditional industry surviving thousands of years, milk production also plays an important role in alleviating nutritional poverty in all age groups. And it is a source of extensive employment opportunities.

The contribution of the agriculture sector, including plantation crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries to GDP was 16.8 percent in 2006, having dropped from 21.3 percent in 1998 (Central Bank of Sri Lanka, 2007). With almost 90 percent of the population considered rural (Central Bank of Sri Lanka, 2006), 2005 data show that agriculture provided employment to 30.7 percent of the population. Livestock accounts for only about 1.2 percent of GDP, but it is an integral part of many other agricultural enterprises providing draught power, transport and dung for fertilizer.

My previous article for The Diplomat examined Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s trip to Beijing and the security and economic implications of the deals he sealed with China to construct ports and artificial islands in the Philippines.

In Foreign Affairs this May, I wrote about the implications of China’s investments in the Sri Lankan ports of Colombo and Hambantota, which had not only plunged Sri Lanka into debt, but raised questions about the security and defense consequences of Beijing’s use of economic statecraft, including in rekindling Sino-Indian rivalry.

The emergence of new details about China’s endeavors in Sri Lanka merit revisiting what is quickly becoming a case study for China’s emerging One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.

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