Category Archives: commoditification

Chinese Alibaba to retail Sri Lankan Tourist Potential in China

Editor, NEWS-in-Asia, 13 August 2018, whose title is Sri Lanka to ink agreement with China’s Alibaba to attract more tourists

Colombo, Aug 14 ( – The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) will ink an agreement with Alibaba’s travel arm, Fliggy, to bring down 1,000 travelers weekly to Sri Lanka in order to expand the island’s growing tourism sector, Daily FT quoted Tourism Minister John Amaratunga on Tuesday.

high jinks at Bentota beach

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Filed under China and Chinese influences, commoditification, ethnicity, growth pole, heritage, historical interpretation, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, modernity & modernization, sri lankan society, tourism, transport and communications, travelogue, world events & processes

A Place to Savour: Coron Island, Philippines

Coron Island

Coron is the third-largest island in the Calamian Islands in northern Palawan in the Philippines. The island is part of the larger municipality of the same name. It is about 170 nautical miles southwest of Manila and is known for several Japanese shipwrecks of World War II vintage. Because of its unique ecological features, the entire area is protected by several legal proclamations.
  • Max length: 20 km
  • Max width: 9,000 m
  • Population: 2,649 (2010)

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, commoditification, landscape wondrous, the imaginary and the real, tourism, World War II

Export Strategy for Sri Lanka Initiated

Editor, News-in-Asia, 20 July 2018, where the title is Sri Lanka launches ambitious 5 yr National Export Strategy to boost economic growth”

The Sri Lankan government has launched a five year National Export Strategy (NES) to boost foreign investments, foreign exchange earnings and employment, the Daily FT reported Friday. Addressing the launch of the five year NES strategy, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the key objective of the NES  was to increase the capacity of the local export sector, improve trade performance and competitiveness and ensure different sectors of the economy evolved to grab a share of the global market in reaching the government’s goal of 28 billion US dollars in export revenue by 2022.

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Filed under commoditification, economic processes, export issues, foreign policy, island economy, modernity & modernization, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, sri lankan society, world events & processes

Hambantota Port: Dirty Economics from the New York Times

Michael Roberts

The New York Times “distinguished itself” in 2009 by participating in the campaign to intervene in the Sri Lankan government’s campaign to end the LTTE military states’ control of parts of Sri Lanka. It was also partial to the Western powers’ successful efforts to oust Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Election in 2015 via the formation of what is known as the Yahapaalana Consortium.

The Hambantota Port gets only a small percentage of Sri Lanka’s port business, overshadowed by the main complex in the capital.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times

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Caste Relations over Time: Challenging Frank Conlon’s Reading of My Work on the Karava


In the academic circuit most books are sent to reviewers by journals in the field of study encompassed by the book. My work on Caste Conflict and Elite Formation: The Rise of a Karāva Elite in Sri Lanka, 1500-1931 published by the Cambridge University Press in 1982 was sent to Frank Conlon, a historian at the University of Washington by the Journal of Asian Studies. His review appeared in 1985. It was, and remains, a serious reading that is not informed by any personal animus, while being obviously guided by his own work on caste interaction in India.


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Talking to Gideon Haigh about Kerry Packer and The Cricket War

ESPN interview with Gideon Haigh at


THIS is a story you must listen to. It is not only about cricket, but also about commercial rights, its politics and the tale of a revolutionary transformation of the pictorial technology presenting cricket to its followers on TV. Michael Roberts Continue reading

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The Golden Age of Motor Cars in Ceylon

Hugh Karunanayake, courtesy of The CEYLANKAN

My previous piece on the “Early Years of Motoring in Ceylon” ( The Ceylankan  # 60 Nov 2012)  evoked a level of  interest  which has since prodded me on  to reflect  on motoring in more recent times. The decade of the 1950s – mid twentieth century Ceylon, could verily be described as the “golden age” of motoring.  The early 1950s especially were years  when the country  enjoyed the “Korean boom”;  export commodities mainly  rubber were fetching record  prices, income tax relatively low, all  leading to  consumption going on at a gallop. There were no national investment projects of note to capture  the surplus that was generated, and most  of the money that flowed in, went towards conspicuous  consumption largely in the purchase of luxury goods such as automobiles.

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