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As long as the government remains in the business of picking winners and losers, the engine of creative destruction that is necessary for true innovation in this or any other sector is unlikely to take root in Sri Lanka,” Pathmalal cautioned. “History doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes. The local economic policy-making bodies bear a striking resemblance to Venice’s Great Council, which was comprised of the business leaders of the time and informed government policy. It ostensibly fostered economic growth but by its design was a protectionist old boys club. In 1330 Venice was the size of Paris and three times larger London. It is now a city that is literally under water and a museum for tourists.”
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