Which country had the best performing market in 2010? FOX NEWS asked in a
special report on Sri Lanka. 'Guess what? It was not the United States
of America! The best performing stock market was Sri Lanka's CSE which
was up 96% for the year', they said.
Calling Sri Lanka 'the rising star of the Asian economy', FOX NEWS said Sri Lanka has demonstrated economic resilience amid a global economic downturn, emerging as a success story for others to emulate.
Sri Lanka has now returned to peace and prosperity, the report said adding that the government has devoted millions of dollars to develop and restore life in the areas affected by the decades-long conflict.
'Most people displaced by the fighting have returned home as the country focuses on healing and reconciliation'.
FOX NEWS also refers to a US Senate report which called the victory against the LTTE(Tamil Tigers) one of the few times in history that a terrorist group has ever been defeated.
Stating that Sri Lanka is Asian's oldest democracy, it adds: 'continuing its rich traditions of democracy and political freedom, elections were held in 2010 throughout the entire country for the first time since 1983'.
FOX NEWS also states that Sri Lanka is a 'hub of religious tolerance'.
'The natural beauty of its tropical forests, beaches, mountainous landscapes and cultural heritage make it a place of unrivaled splendor that has long been praised by travel writers', it adds.
Following is the FOX NEWS transcript:
Sri Lanka is an island nation with a rich cultural heritage and a written history of over 2500 years. Nestled below the Southern tip of India, Sri Lanka is home to 21 million ethnically diverse people including Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and Malays.
It is Asia's oldest democracy and a hub of religious tolerance.
Sri Lanka is also the rising star of the Asian economy situated at the centre of the global shipping routes. It plays a vital role in international trade linking East and West.
The country is famous for producing and exporting its world-renowned Ceylon teas, clothing from Asian global manufactures, rubber products, jewellery and gems such as blue sapphires and Ceylon rubies as well as coconut products, spices and a variety of herbs.
Its stock market has in recent years been one of the world's best performing exchanges. Sri Lanka's economy is currently on the rise as it is expected to grow by 7.2% in 2010. Amid a global economic downturn, Sri Lanka has demonstrated economic resilience emerging as a success story for others to emulate.
Tourism plays an increasingly important role in Sri Lanka's booming economy and Sri Lanka has been recognized as a world class tourist destination. The natural beauty of its tropical forests, beaches, mountainous landscapes and cultural heritage make it a place of unrivaled splendor that has long been praised by travel writers.
In January 2010 the New York Times named Sri Lanka its top tourist destination. National Geographic also named Sri Lanka one of its 25 best trips of the year. The magazine found that; "Sri Lanka is finally starting to look like its old self, a peaceful destination where surf lineups are nonexistent despite world class waves and centuries old tea estates are lined with mountain bike -ready trails."
During the first half of 2010, tourist arrivals doubled compared to the same time the previous year. In May 2009 Sri Lanka prevailed in decades-long conflict against the terrorist group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)Tamil Tigers. A US Senate report called the victory one of the few times in history that a terrorist group has ever been defeated.
Sri Lanka has now returned to peace and prosperity. The government with the assistance of foreign aid has devoted millions of dollars to develop and restore life in the areas affected by the decades-long conflict. Roads and other infrastructure have been rebuilt and social development programs are in place and more are being planned. Most people displaced by the fighting have returned home as the country focuses on healing and reconciliation.
Sri Lanka gained universal suffrage in 1931 and Independence from the British in 1948. Continuing its rich traditions of democracy and political freedom, elections were held in 2010 throughout the entire country for the first time since 1983.
Sri Lankans went to the polls twice in 2010, first to elect a President and then a new Parliament. The people of Sri Lanka re-elected President Rajapaksa with a record mandate. In the April Parliamentary elections, the President's party won 2/3 of the votes, a resounding victory for the President's policies. Since May 2009 Sri Lanka has experienced a tremendous political, social and economic transformation that has benefited and rejuvenated all Sri Lankans. The country is committed to peace, reconciliation and prosperity for all with the hope of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia.
-End of Narration-
CLIP (Report on National Geographic Channel)
The National Geographic Channel in an exclusive report categorized Sri Lanka as the second best place to visit.
The commentators, the Times Travel Writer Jil Crawshow and Editor of Wandertrust Magazine describe Sri Lanka as 'definitely a best place to visit'.
Referring to the first world traveller Marco Polo's description of his 'favourite island', as the 'Jade Pendant in the Indian Ocean', the commentators state that Sri Lanka is exactly what it is and that it has got 'basically everything for a tourist'.
Observing that in Sri Lanka a tourist may have a 'beach to yourself', they add that the country has hundreds of miles of 'amazingly undiscovered beaches and coral marine life'. 'It is arguably one of the greatest islands for beaches', they add.
They report that Sri Lanka has a wonderful history and culture in a really small space and state that Sigiriya is a place not to be missed because of its scenic beauty.
'You don't get to number two without some must-see sights', they add.
Stating that Sri Lanka's wildlife is a 'major highlight', they refer to the availability of elephants and leopards, making a special reference to the Pinnawala Elephant Sanctuary. Pinnawala is now the largest herd in captivity with 65 elephants. It opened with seven elephants in 1975.
They also comment on the 'lovely food' and point out, 'if anyone wants to taste spicy curry then, definitely, Sri Lanka is the place to go'. 'Sri Lanka has a little bit of everything', they said.