Next year, 2018, Sri Lanka will be marking the 70th anniversary of our independence. This will be a milestone in our journey as a re-born nation. In our build up to this event it is important that we look soberly and honestly at the ‘balance sheet’ of our successes and failures over the past seven decades.
There will be no contesting the fact that among all the former British colonies it was Sri Lanka that was thought to have the best chance of rapid economic and social development. The words of the late visionary Singaporean leader are very often quoted in this regard. Equally, there will be no dispute that the greatest drawback to our development as a united nation has been racial conflict, linguistic strife, and religious conflict” – the words once again of Lee Kwan Yew.