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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2680

Ruhunu Expo ’08 Shines at Hambantota

Ruhunu Expo ’08 Shines at Hambantota

T.K.Premadasa - Deputy Director / Marketing, Sri Lanka Export Development Board

Prof G.L.Peiris, Hon. Minister of Export Development and International Trade has announced at the Press Conference held in Colombo on 28th October 2008 that Sri Lanka Export Development Board under preview of his Ministry is planning a series of Expo Exhibitions to encourage the rural producers to find avenues of opportunities for their products to be presented to the global market. The premier exhibition “Ruhunu Expo’ 08” with thematic of Gamen Lowata will take place on 13th & 14th of December 2008 at the Tzu Chi National School, Hambantota.

Hambantota is a prominent region in the South glorifies a proud history with a prestigious culture of heritage in high quality. Sri Lanka ruled by the kings in the ancient era had been demarcated into three territorial provinces namely Ruhunu, Maya and Pihiti.

The entire Southern Province together with Ratnapura, Moneragala, Badulla and Batticaloa districts became under the administration of Ruhuna. It is testified by the great chronicles that Ruhuna was named after Prince Rohana who first ruled the province. He was one of the princes accompanied by Baddakachchyana. Magama was the capital of Ruhuna. Dr K.Kularatnam in his article written to the History of Ceylon Vol. I Part I, a book published by the University of Peradeniya has declared that ancient Magama is presently known as Tissamaharamaya area. The successive rulers from time to time changed the administrative divisions to facilitate their governance. In the process of demarcating the administrative districts in the island, the British colonial rulers re-established Hambantota as one of the districts under Southern Province.

The historical importance in respect of Hambantota remains extraordinary. It should be hailed that the country stood steadfastly a United Sri Lanka with prudent guidance by the King Dutugemunu the Great hero reigned from Magama. The name of Hambantota will go writ large in letters of gold in the history of Sri Lanka as the resplendent city that produced great patriots King Dutugemunu, King Saddhatissa and President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Numerous spots of attraction depicting the cherished value of culture and economy and areas of natural assets available in this region have been earmarked. By the mention of the name Hambantota, it recollects the famous Salt Lake with many other stories linked to Salt Industry. Arthur C. Dep in his book titled ‘A History of Ceylon Police Vol.1 stylishly narrates the memorable stories of people charged with theft of salt and how they were taken to courts.Hambantota was recognized not only as a maritime silk route but also as the attractive beach with sandy mounds strategically used by the British rulers for their defence at the war front. Dr L.R.Brohier in his book "Seeing Ceylon" stated in 1803 that a small regiment of the British Army attacked Kandyan forces defending behind Hambantota sandy mounds. Bella Sidney Wolf, the sister of Leonard Wolf in her book ‘How to see Ceylon’ written in 1914 describes the attraction of beauty by the radiance of the Sun on Hambantota coastal region.

Besides many pleasing stories, Leonard Wolf in his novel ‘Village in the Jungle’ has described the harshness and acridity of the people over the challenges by a long spell of dry zone sans sufficient rainfall. The sight of the dead bodies of animals constantly found in the forest caused by severe drought prevailing in the region was inexplicable according to Dr Brohier. Until recently, people thought that only Curd, Kalu Dodol and products of salty fisheries could be purchased on their way back home from Kataragama.

Special attention on development was drawn to those areas overlooked for decades since gaining Independence in 1948 in spite of numerous attempts made by leading politicians of the relevant electorates. Today Hambantota has become the fastest developing city in the country not only due to the accelerated program of urbanization but also due to the enormous development of infrastructure involved. The commencement of building an International Airport and an International Harbor patently manifests the potential needs for development in commercialization.

The city will reach the highest apex in appraisal of vast development recognized by the international community in the very near future. Admirably this project would benefit the residents of this region with employment and economic boost in their living condition, an inspirational impetus for migration from other parts of the island to Hambantota.

Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) excelled in export development has taken necessary precautions on a strategy mainly to emphasize the need for equal distribution of export turn over to rural areas and to decentralize the operation with opportunities open to rural production and build their lifestyles. EDB has already initiated series of progressive measures in this respect towards development of export production.

In an attempt to win this goal of achievement EDB has decided to strengthen the regional network by the establishment of branch offices and organizing a series Expo Exhibitions. The new branch office of EDB will be opened in Hambantota shortly and it will cover the regions of Moneragala and Ratnapura too. The purpose of this new office would be to identify new resources, develop available resources in the region for export market and to encourage improve their skills to compete with the global market. Moreover EDB has also decided to organize Expo exhibitions at provincial level with a prudent insight on rural development in export under the theme Gamen Lowata or Rural Resources to Global Market. In this context arrangements have been made to have the first Provincial EXPO Ruhunu Expo’08 in Hambantota on 13th and 14th of November 2008 at Tzu Chi National Scholl , Hambantota.

The main objectives of this exhibition would be to strengthen the current operational system of export in the region, identify the potential products and services, encourage the producers to associate with the established direct exporters and motivate the producers too for direct exports. This nature of strategy will create a new regional export culture for the producers to acquaint with buyers to initiate business on their own soil.

Ruhunu Expo’08 is not a meeting place for entertainment or just a display of products by the export companies. Participation at a Trade Fair of this nature is a professional approach on promotion of marketing development, not only demands the finest opportunity in sharing responsibility at an international trade fair but also gains invaluable experience on dealing with the international business community. Hambantota with the surrounding area is rich in various resources as Fisheries Products, Agricultural Products of cashew, tea, cut flowers and foliage and gems etc. The exhibition will be opened for two days as scheduled and will be engaged on initiating negotiations with the exporting producers and other professionals on trade.

EDB organizes Samatha Piyasa also known as Monthly Exporters’ Forum with the intent of reaching solutions for export related issues. EDB will organize mini Samatha Piyasa at the Ruhunu Expo to provide suitable opportunity for representation of the related issues faced by Provincial Export Community before the Hon Ministers for a progressive solution.

Arrangements are being made for Presentation of Awards to the business community in the area an inspirational move in appreciation of their tremendous contribution made towards the development of exports in the best interest of the entire nation. Seminars and workshops on export development based on the academic aptitude of the rural producers have been planned to widen their knowledge on the areas such as product and market development. Ruhunu Expo’08 extends a golden opportunity for rural folks to purchase export products of high quality at a reasonable price.

Ruhunu Expo’08 is a momentous share of contribution by the EDB as a responsible partner of Hambantota Navodaya in its effort to expand the development structure in this native at village. The laudable priority of attention portrayed by the exhibition would embolden rural producers venturing new avenues for expansive advancement of their business.

Operation Webaite

Embraced with a massive construction of an International Airport, International Seaport, monumental irrigation projects and an abundance of enriched greenery soil, Hambantota Navodaya the accelerated development program of Hambantota and the suburbs demonstrates to the entire world of the new model of progression against the challenges.

Hambantota could be projected as the City of Prosperity for the next generation.

- Asian Tribune -

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