SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACK GROUND OF SRILANKA<br />A.ALI<br />
INTRODUCTION<br />It is based on socio-economic back ground of Sri-Lanka in the basis of three different eras, which is pre colonial period, colonial period and after independents.<br />Socioeconomics or socio-economics is the study of the relationship between economic activity and social life of a state, society or community.<br />Sri Lanka has a recorded history since 543 B.C. Although records are not found of civilizations before 543 B.C., historical facts reveal that a civilization existed even long before from “Rawana”, Times. It's believed that an Expelled prince “Vijaya”, to be the first Aryan King of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has a fascinating documented history over 2500 years of Civilization.<br />
Pre colonial era.<br />The Homo sapiens first appeared in Sri Lanka about 500,000 B.C. few artifacts have been found dating back to subsequent Paleolithic culture of the second Stone age period. Stone cultures endured until about 1000 B.C. The second phase of Stone Age may have ended some few centuries later with the establishment of metal. The Stone working culture was known as” Balandoga Culture”. They first made an impression on island life about 5000 B.C and spread through out the Sri Lanka. The BalangodaManawaya survived until about 500 B.C and faded out under the advance of early settlers from India.<br />The feudal age in srilanka, Sinhala Kings always fought back in exile to regain the throne. Some battles went on for years. The Capital was moved to several places due to these invasions. Non of the invaders were able to capture whole country at any time until 1815. <br />The last Kandyan King Sri WikramaRajasinghe. Accordind to John Doily, in his book “An Historical Relations of Ceylon" says, “The Kings Power is Massive, He decisions are firm, The ministers may advice him but cannot change his will, he decided to make war or peace, He makes the law”. He also says that kings is not a Dictator, he had a cabinet containing senapathi, mahalekam, “purohitha”and “bhandagarika”. Protecting peasants and religion. He always had to go by traditions.<br />In political aspects king had a limit of power for anything he does. He had to take advice and intelligence from the “mahasanga”. If he does not rule this way the public will rise against him. The king appointed the officers. During those time king contributes importance to the religious and cultural factors of the society. He also gives attention for economic sector of the country, which is trade with Arabians and Indians merchants. During this time kings control the socio economic back ground of the country. They are more concern to protect the thrown also Being an important trade port and oasis of Nature for sea farers of China, Arabia and Europe of the ancient times.<br />
Colonial period<br /> <br />Sri Lanka was first colonized in 1505 by the Portuguese who occupied the coastal regions and their successors, the Dutch who arrived in 1660. Under this colonial rule, The Tamil regions of the North and East were administered as separate political entities to the majority Sinhalese political entities of the island. In 1796, the island came under British rule and by 1815 the whole island was under a single governmental rule. The capital Colombo thus became a central government which the British used as their tool to spread colonialism. Major social changes take place. Under the Portuguese and then the Dutch the development of commercial activity in the coastal lowlands encouraged many "low country" Sinhalese to became involved in the newly emerging economic activity.<br />British came to control the whole island after 1815 they established a quite distinctive imprint on the island's society and economy. This was most obvious in the introduction of plantation agriculture. During the British period coffee took over from cinnamon, but by the beginning of the 20th century, even though coffee had largely been wiped out by disease, plantation agriculture was the dominant pillar of the cash economy. Rice production stagnated and then declined, and Sri Lanka became dependent on the export of cash crops and the import of food. In 1948 it was only producing about 35% of its rice need.<br />During early British colonial period, the low country Sinhalese became increasingly westernized, with the widespread adoption of an English education and the rise of an urban middle class, while the kandyan Sinhalese retained far stronger links with traditional and rural social customs. <br />Despite British reforms in 1833 which introduced a uniform administrative system across the whole of Ceylon, wiping out the distinctive Kandyan political system, a contrast between Kandyan and low country Sinhalese persisted into the modern period.<br />
Colombo harbor during the British colonial<br />
After Independence in 1948 <br />The office of Prime Minister of Ceylon was created in advance of independence on 14 October 1947, Don Stephen Senanayake being the first prime minister. On February 4, 1948 the country won its independence as the Commonwealth of Ceylon. On July 21, 1960 SirimavoBandaranaike took office as prime minister, and became the world's first female prime minister and the first female head of government in post-colonial Asia.<br /> 19th and 20th Centuries, Sri Lanka became a plantation economy famous for its production and export of cinnamon, rubber and Ceylon, which remains a trademark national export. The development of modern ports under British rule raised the strategic importance of the island as a centre of trade. From 1948 to 1977 socialism strongly influenced the government's economic policies. Colonial plantations were dismantled, industries were nationalized and a welfare state established. <br />While the standard of living and literacy improved significantly, the nation's economy suffered from inefficiency, slow growth and lack of foreign investment. <br />From 1977 the UNP government began incorporating privatization, deregulation and promotion of private enterprise. While the production and export of tea, rubber, coffee, sugar and other agricultural commodities remains important, the nation has moved steadily towards an industrialized economy with the development of food processing, textiles, telecommunications and finance. <br />By 1996 plantation crops made up only 20% of export, and further declined to 16.8% in 2005 (compared with 93% in 1970), while textiles and garments have reached 63%. <br />The GDP grew at an average annual rate of 5.5% during the early 1990s, until a drought and a deteriorating security situation lowered growth to 3.8% in 1996.<br />The economy rebounded in 1997-2000, with average growth of 5.3%. The year of 2001 saw the first recession in the country's history, as a result of power shortages, budgetary problems, the global slowdown, and continuing civil strife<br /> <br />
<ul><li>Culture</li></ul>The island is the home of two main traditional cultures, the Sinhalese (centered in the ancient cities of Kandy and Anuradhapura) and the Tamil (centered in the city of Jaffna). In more recent times a British colonial culture was added, and lately Sri Lanka, particularly in the urban areas, has experienced a dramatic makeover in the western mold. Until recently, for example, most Sri Lankans, certainly those in the villages, have eaten traditional food, engaged in traditional crafts and expressed themselves through traditional arts. But economic growthand intense economic competition in developed countrieshas spilled over to most of Sri Lanka, producing changes that might variously be identified as progress, westernization or a loss of identity and assimilation.<br /><ul><li>EDUCATION</li></ul>The highest priority was given to education after independence in 1948. Within the last five decades the literacy rate of the population has gone up to over 90% and is the highest in South East Asia. Vidyodaya University and Vidyalankara University were established in 1958. 2750 Assisted schools were taken over by the government in 1960, and 55 schools remained as Fee Levying Private schools. <br />
<ul><li>RELIGION</li></ul>Sri Lanka's population practices a variety of religions. 70% of Sri Lankans are Theravada Buddhists, 15% are Hindus, 7.5% are Muslimsand 7.5% Christians.<br /><ul><li>Theravada Buddhismis the majority religion in Sri Lanka, with about 70% of the country's population as followers. Mahinda, son of Ashoka, an early supporter of Buddhism, led the mission to Sri Lanka in 246 BC where he converted the king of Sri Lanka to Buddhism. From then on, the royal families had helped to encourage the spread of Buddhism, aiding Buddhist missionaries and building monasteries.. However, later on, Hindu and European colonial influences contributed to the decline of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. By the mid 19th century, Dharmapala, a Buddhist monk, started a revival movement in Sri Lanka. This movement eventually helped to return Buddhist dominancein Sri Lanka.
Hindusmake up 16% of Sri Lanka's population. Hinduism was the major religion practiced on the island prior to the introduction of Buddhism in the 3rd century BCE and the subsequent adoption of the new religion by the Sinhalese population. Nonetheless, Hinduism survived and endured in Sri Lanka, supported by South Indian and Orissan dynasties that conquered parts of the island through history.
By the 15th century, Arabtraders had controlled much of the trade on the Indian Ocean, including that of Sri Lanka's. Many of these traders settled down in Sri Lanka, encouraging the spread of Islam.
According to Christiantraditions, Thomas the Apostlefirst arrived in Sri Lanka (as well as India)during the 1st century. After his arrival, small Christian settlements were recorded to have been established on Sri Lanka's coastline. It is noticed Protestantmissionaries arrived at Sri Lanka during the early 19th century.</li></li></ul><li>CONCLUTION<br />Focusing on pre- independent period it is the feudal era of sri-lanka. Srilanka is naturally rich in resources. Which result entering the foreign traders to sri-lankafor trade purpose, according to social aspects the domain religion and culture is Buddhism and “Sinhala”. And educational institution is controlled by Buddhist monk. It dose not mean that other religious institution are not functioning in sri-lanka, minority” Hindu” and “Muslim” do have a social and economical role in sri-lankaduring the feudal age.<br />During the colonial period European influence took place in socio economic sector of srilanka. This means, educationally they started to introduce the European language, also propagating Christianity results existence of new religion and culture to srilanka. They put up the companies for trade purpose and export most of the recourse from srilanka to Europe.<br /> <br />During the British colony, transportation and education anal British educational institution had build up in srilanka. That’s results improvement of social and economical sector in silence. They built up the rail transportation during the time. It was a golden era of sri-lankaneconomy. Due to British “divide and rule theory”, sri-lanakanethnic conflict started.<br />After independent, srilanka focused to improve the laid economical foundation of the colonial period. And the government faced the ethnic conflict in sri-lanka. This resulted socially week and economically unstabled the country. <br /> <br />