chapter  23
8 Pages

The Search for Prosperity

WithRobert C. Oberst, Yogendra K. Malik, Charles H. Kennedy, Ashok Kapur, Mahendra Lawoti, Syedur Rahman, Ahrar Ahmad

The defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam led many to believe that Sri Lanka would finally be able to focus on economic development. The conflict experienced in Sri Lanka since the 1970s is closely tied to the economic problems the country faces. However, the Mahaweli project's success has been limited by the creation of social and economic problems that now require resources for resolution. The search for a solution to the country's economic problems has focused on three major efforts: a massive irrigation scheme to increase agricultural production, a liberalization policy to increase investment in the economy, and an effort to devolve power to regional governments. The 2002 cease-fire agreement gave the economic-development reforms an opportunity to foster economic growth in the economy. While the economic damage inflicted by the tsunami appears to have been relatively limited, the coastal fishing communities were devastated by the destruction of their infrastructure.