When measuring development, it has to be done objectively. You have to use numbers, facts, statistics, balance of payments, diaspora, and remittances to measure development in country. Having spent some time in Sri Lanka, I can tell many people are quite happy and laid back although social issues and developmental challenges are very much apparent. There are optimistic and pessimistic people in every place and you can't paint them with broad strokes. Your arguments about wealth distribution is completely invalid as Sri Lanka has more income inequality than most countries including Singapore. Take a look at the Gini Index. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality How would you measure development subjectively? Send out a survey and ask people if they're happy? I'm not sure if you've been to Singapore but I can assure you that very few people live in so called slums, which are much more prevalent in South Asia, Sri Lanka included. It is clean, organized, with no noticeable pollution. I can also guarantee more Sri Lankans live and work in Singapore than the other way around. Your argument about self reliance and the Hambantota port is completely invalid as it is mostly being financed and constructed by China, which has had its fair share of problems with balanced and even development.