Creating Peace in Sri Lanka: Civil War and Reconciliation

By Robert I. Rotberg | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The Economic Development of Sri Lanka: A Tale of Missed Opportunities

Donald R. Snodgrass

WHEN SRI LANKA, then known as Ceylon, achieved independence in 1948, it was regarded by many, with the flawed foresight common in these matters, as one of Asia's most promising new nations. The island had escaped World War II unscathed. It had practiced limited self-rule based on universal franchise since 1931. Levels of literacy and educational achievement were high relative to those in other parts of Asia. The transition from colonial rule had been peaceful. There was a smoothly functioning export economy that provided commodities urgently demanded by the world market. What more could a newly independent nation want? 1

Other observers took a more sober approach, noting that productivity was low and population was growing rapidly. 2 Some foresaw that the existing economic structure would be unable to support the growing population at its current standard. One writer noted perceptively: "Most thoughtful Ceylonese today agree with friendly foreign observers that the success of Ceylon's development projects and her credit standing among the free nations of the world depend upon early settlement of communal quarrels and firm control of extremist elements."3

Whatever a reasonable assessment at the time may have been, succeeding decades have revealed Sri Lanka as an undistinguished economic performer among the developing nations of Asia and the world. But Sri Lanka's economic development has not been the disaster that one might have expected to result from its inability to settle communal disputes and the wild policy swings that accompanied changes of government throughout the first three decades of independence.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Creating Peace in Sri Lanka: Civil War and Reconciliation


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 224

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?