Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Tsunami was a blessing in disguise for Sri Lanka's economy, analysts say

COLOMBO: The Indian Ocean tsunamis killed 31,000 people in Sri Lanka and caused unprecedented damage, but were also a blessing to its economy which had been heading for a major catastrophe, according to analysts.

A record trade deficit, balance of payment crisis driven by high crude oil prices, galloping inflation and an uncertain political climate due to tension between the government and Tiger rebels, had pushed the economy to crisis point.

The December 26 tsunamis destroyed three-quarters of the country's coastline, wrecked the road and railway network and initially left a million people homeless, but there followed an aid windfall from abroad.

Analysts said the avalanche of assistance from global lenders and the post-tsunami reconstruction across the devastated regions will kick-start economic growth now expected to cross five percent next year...


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