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Sri Lanka’s economy mainly depends on a few industries. These include textiles & clothing, tourism, telecommunications, information technology services, banking, shipping, petroleum refining, construction and processing of tea, rubber, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities.

Traditional Sri Lankan Tea

The island nation produces tea throughout the year and the total tea production is about 320 million kilograms per annum. It also has thriving metalware and clayware industries. The country has a long history of metalwork.  It is popular for steel and copper crafts. Which were so highly developed in ancient times, that the country was exporting steel to Damascus.

Traditional Sri Lankan Brassware

Brassware is also sometimes a family heirloom or an offering to the Gods. Skilled artisans who work on brass have lately found themselves struggling to keep the tradition alive in a rapidly evolving world. Moreover, the pottery industry is important as people often prefer cooking in earthenware. Which is more popular over modern cookware. Particularly when authentic local cuisine is being prepared.

Claywork remains an art, with more motifs making the prices go up, thus catering to the better-off local market and even royalty. It also has a huge tourist market.

The President’s observations

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa noted that to strengthen traditional industries laws need to be implemented. As opposed to disrupting them, as at present.

The President made this observation at a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. On the plans for the State Ministry of Cane, Brass, Clay, Furniture and Rural Industrial Promotion.

He explained that making laws insensitive to the needs of local industries. The livelihood of those in the industry has suffered. Honest and uncorrupt people are suffering because of a few.

Further remarks

“Officials need to work creatively for the development of local industries. Priority to issues at ground level should be given. Government follow-up is an essential factor as well.

“The development of traditional industries that have not received proper attention. In the long run, it is a task that needs to be done in a planned manner,” he emphasised.


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