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Guide to Lanka's Trade, Shipping and Port Policies



Trade, Shipping, Port Policies & Economic
Stability of Sri Lanka-
Millenniums In Retrospect

Author: Dr. M.H. Gunaratne
Publisher: Stamford Lake
Pages:370
Price: Rs 1000

The main objective of the Study is to bring out the need for a synergy of trade, shipping and port policies of Sri Lanka in maximising the advantages of its geographical location for sectoral benefits and the benefit of the country at large as an action oriented strategy for the future.

Promotion of synergy between trade, shipping and port related activities had transcended in the development of a distinctive maritime and navigational tradition of the people and the elevation of ports to centres of entrepot trade through the ancient and medieval phases of Sri Lanka's history. When power was shared between the Portuguese, Dutch and the local kings synergy was partly cohesive whilst during the period of the British occupation the selected paradigm was justified as an economic necessity. It is apparent that every local ruler emulated a common policy irrespective of time span on account of its pervasive effects.

Country's favourable location at the tip of the Indian sub-continent in proximity to major East-West shipping lanes continues to intertwine Lanka with India as a gateway for trade and related activities and the western world as a shipping hub The common thread that binds the relationship is entrepot trade or distribution system. The inherent resilience to international and regional events to sustain the distinctive character has been an invaluable dimension of the country's hallowed maritime tradition.

The methodology used in capturing the synergy in operation is both deductive and inductive as secondary information has been used to capture the past whilst the futuristic scenarios have been based on primary sources. The quintessence of the findings had manifested in the development of entrepot trade, value addition in trading activity supplemented by export of multifarious items in a strategic partnership with the outside maritime world. In the modern context of globalisation the strategy remains highly tenable for application

Entrepot trade is defined lucidly in the modern context as exporting goods of other countries through value addition or simply re-exporting at the right time after a period of storage for value addition. Value added services identified with entrepot trade in the modern context inter alia include:Quality Control, Repacking, Customizing, Assembly, Testing, Repair, Re-use, Storage for re-export etc.

Some of these activities were practised in the ancient period particularly at Mantota (North West Sri Lanka) when Anuradhapura was the capital (377BC-1070AD) for over half a millennium as an acknowledged entrepot port in East-West trade. (Brohier) The book make reference to Sri Lanka's involvement in transmitting merchandise between East and West a role once played by Western India (Christiana) and the creation of a truly national marine by Moggalana1 (491 509AD ) for ensuring security with the growing position as a regional shipping hub whilst Romans making a direct call. (Tennent) After the fall of Alexandria 638 AD the hub position ceased to exist resulting in the shift of capitals and trading practices.

The rulers pre-occupation with trade generated at all ports of the Island is corroborated by inscriptional evidence which further indicates the primacy reached by Galle in the medieval period to interface international trade Mayura Sandesaya 1385-1391 AD (Respected Book of Verses) eulogises on the existence of several western coastal ports as entrepot centres during the medieval period.

For over 300 years when the country was under European domination entrepot was practised as an inherent part of the country's commercial regimes.

As a practical justification for the theory that is investigated ,the elevation of the Colombo Port to attain the twenty fourth place among the container handling ports of the world in the 1990's has been analysed bringing out the demand conditions. In order to sustain the position in the context of rapidly growing transshipment, the need to combine equipment capability enhancement to handle with state of -the-art Information

As a natural corollary of the development, the launch of the Colombo Freeport Project directly related to the promotion of Port's and also Airport's supply chain functions including value addition at the highest global level has been examined.

The arrival at this milieu has been a challenging task for an emerging nation whilst sustaining the position will be still arduous .In order to confront the future judiciously, benchmarks established during the historical phases including theoretical positions of the different eras are presented to familiarize policy makers. As for the future comparative information from a widest possible domain has been invoked to sustain a niche in competitiveness whilst implementing policies.

The theme that is expounded in a continuum as an integral part of entrepot is the daring role of national shipping and a resemblance that is drawn between various phases of the chronology. The great heights of this episode excluding the protectionist phase of 1970's was reached when national shipping played an overwhelming role during the British phase of history.

In the final analysis attention is focused on a new and metamorphosed milieu in maritime affairs in Sri Lanka brought about by the convergence of national and international developments.

With the introduction of Post-Panamax vessels 1988 upsizing of vessels continued and to prevent ship operating cost benefits being eroded pressure was exerted to improve cargo handling performance.

In providing a visionary perspective for the future the need to develop national merchant marines not necessarily Government owned has been emphasized both for bulk, break bulk, coastal and container feeder operation in an environment dominated by Mega carriers. To retain the services of Mega Carriers undiminished at Colombo, value additions in the Colombo port ,enhanced entrepot trade and exports (captive cargoes) are examined in the backdrop of competitive ports and volatility in transshipment. In this context a Freeport area is implied to extend from Colombo Port to Katunayake Airport providing an integrated air, sea operation. It is suggested that the development of regional ports in the Island should be on their unique comparative advantage according to foreign and local demand.

This has elevated the book to the role model imbibing strong national sentiments whilst highlighting economic benefits.

A continuous story over a long period is easily readable in view of the facilitation adroitly provided by the coherent arrangement of short sub titles under each of the eight Chapter headings. The narrative is embellished by Tables (9) Annexure (10) Diagrams (8) Maps (8) Pictures (1) providing the supporting wealth of authoritative information obtained from authentic sources.


Tips to achieve success



Maha Polowen Sandalu Thalayata
(Grass-root to apex of success)

Author: Manjula Prabhath Hettiarachchi Prabhani Publications,
Malwana,
Rs. 800



Manjula Prabhath Hettiarachchi

Contains ten moving stories of outstanding businessmen who could reach lofty heights in their careers through self-determination and hard work. Twenty five articles have been updated and selected for the book by Manjula Prabath Hettiarachchi, out of over hundred stories which he compiled to "Aratuwa" under the title "Influential Business Personalities in Sri Lanka" from 2000-2004.

The book contains success stories of award winning business personalities such as Victor Hettigoda, Ajith Wijetunga, Camillus Perera, Hemachandra, Wagapitiya, Amal Karunathileke, Ms. Janet Balasuriya, Lawrence Perera, Odiris Perera, Gamini Saparamadu, Russell Francis Perera, Ariyaseela de Silva Wickramanayake, Ms. Mallika Hemachandra, Sarath Padmalal, Kashyapa Mahendra de Silva, Daya Dharmapala Gamage, Aruna Upul Jayasinghe, Dayawansa Jayakody, Asoka Jayalath Wimaladharma, Dayananda Gunewardena, Sarathchandra de Silva, Dharmachandra Nimalasiri, Narayana Nandadasa, Mayilwaganam Rajkumar, Milton de Silva Galappaththi and Sunil Rathnayake. Their contribution to the business field is immense and what the author appreciates is their courage and undying determination. The book contains all the relevant details of their life stories from their early beginnings. At the end of each story their Curriculum Vitae too has been attached in order to help readers get the maximum knowledge about them. Manjula says he wants people particularly those who aspire to become business giants, to gain inspiration from those personalities. Unlike most of the writers who focus on international business icons, Manjula's attempt is to set an example to young entrepreneurs through highlighting outstanding local businessmen. The author believes that going through such biographies would help many people shed pessimism which stands as a hindrance when achieving targets.

Manjula, who holds a BA (Special) in Mass Communication from the University of Kelaniya has also worked as the Deputy Features Editor of "Irida" newspaper and Deputy Editor of "Aratuwa". He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of "Diriya", a magazine for business women.

"Sanda Madala Gini Ganee" is his debut anthology.



Author: A.A.M. Fazi, (BA, Eng. Sp. Trd.)

Published by
S.B.H. Publications, No. 77,
Dematagoda Rd, Colombo 09.
Price: Rs. 225

English Grammar for You

A book on English Grammar, authored by A.A.M. Fazi of R/ Hindu College, Balangoda, an invaluable aid, a self study guide and an ideal reference book for any one who is interested in English Language, was launched recently at Jeilany National School of Balangoda. His maiden publication, "English Grammar for You" was highly appreciated by the Vice Chancellor of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka by his message of appreciation read by Mr. Sivayesurasa, Senior Lecturer of English of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka.

The book also talks about word classes, Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Pronouns, Proforms, Adverbials, Prepositions, Quantifiers, Determiners, Phrases, Clauses, Sentence Elements, Passive Voice, Tenses and Times, Direct speech and Indirect Speech, Uses of modals, and Capitalization etc.Abdul Azeez Mohamed Fazi is a teacher of English at R/Hindu College, Balangoda. He is an Arts Graduate of University of Peradeniya and he is reading for his Masters of Arts in Sociology.


Launch of two books on Buddhism

Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thera's 'Ama Dam Rasa Vehena Vistharartha Dhammapadaya - 6' and 'Sudumudu Buduguna Sihikara Ganne' (Sattis Bodhi Pakshika Dharma) will be launched at the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress hall, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7 on Wednesday September 30 at 4 pm.

Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thera will also deliver a Dhamma Desana on this occasion.


[ New on the shelf]

Sankshiptha Manawa Ithihasaya

(A short history of mankind)

Author: P.W. Jayatileke

Author Publication

Rs. 400

The book contains details of formation of civilizations, Greek-Rome, Chinese and other Eastern civilizations, ancient migrations, nation-States, subjects and citizens.

As its title suggests the book is indeed a handbook of the history of mankind.


Neethi Niganduva

Neethi Niganduva originally written by C. J. R. Lemesuriyar and T. B. Panabokke has been translated into Sinhala by Abaya Hewavasam. The book codifies the then prevalent law in the up-country.

The unabridged Sinhala version of the book gives a graphic account of the law relating to slaves, property, marriage, divorce, custody of children, legitimisation, adoption of children, guardianship, devolution of property to wife and children, and rights of children.

The book is useful for practising lawyers, law students and the general reader.

'Neethi Niganduva' is a Sooriya publication.

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