Building the Megapolis: A look at Sri Lanka’s big plan

Sri Lanka has ambitious plans to transform its capital into South Asia's most vibrant city. But it is keen to avoid the pitfalls experienced in East Asia — and maintain ‘a laid-back vibe’.

If we end up looking like Singapore we’ll have failed.”

These are the words of Nayana Mawilmada, head of investments at the Ministry of Megapolis. 

Mawilmada has one of the most important jobs in Sri Lanka, running investments at a ministry tasked with turning Colombo and the surrounding Western Province into South Asia’s most vibrant city. 

His comments may seem bold, but Sri Lanka was once more economically advanced than Singapore. The South Asian country fell behind after adopting a Sinhalese-first policy in the mid 1950s perhaps Donald Trump should take note and slid into a three-decade long civil war, which ended...

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