The blind leading the blind?

Sri Lanka’s recent economic development, the Nepalese Prime Minister said, has set a good example to Asia and Nepal too has embarked on a development drive following the Sri Lankan model. Economic, religious and socio-cultural relations which existed between Sri Lanka and Nepal for centuries have to be further strengthened, the Premier pointed out.

via Sri Lanka News

Anecdotal news I’m hearing from Sri Lanka does seem to indicate that major economic progress has been made in the months following the war. I’m being shown photos of Kandy in recent months that make it look like an almost unrecognisably developed city. Most likely due to heavy Chinese investment, but possibly also a ‘peace dividend‘ recognising the country’s relatively high human capital (free education/high literacy/low infant mortality) which was effectively locked down during the war.

Having said all of this, I don’t know whether its time for countries to be imitating the ‘Sri Lankan model’ (I had no idea that Sri Lankan politicians were so organised that their machinations had actually produced a model!). If such a model even exists it is only now generating benefits that South East Asia has been seeing for the past decade. Again, it could very well be that the war screwed up Sri Lanka’s potential economic gains from its ‘model’, but perhaps some countries should wait and see and follow other more tried and tested models in the meantime.

Then again, if the model the Nepalese PM is referring to is investment in education and healthcare then I guess a government could do worse..


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