Saturday 9 January 2016

Can the Adam’s Eye Bail out Sri Lanka

Can the Adam’s Eye Bailout Sri Lanka

World's largest blue star sapphire 'found in Sri Lanka'. This is what BBC reports. ‘The gem is valued at least $100m and the current owner estimates that it could sell for up to $175m at auction’, it continues.

If sapphires found in Sri Lanka are called Adam’s tears; tears shed by Adam for expelling from the heaven and turned to be gems over the years, then we have found the Adam’s Eye.

For all these years we were talking about the proudest history, holiest country, purest ancestry, best natural beauty etc.; all are non-measurable. Any other country could also claim so. We did not have the tallest, longest, largest or oldest something to show the world. 

And now we got it.

Can this Adam’s Eye make the breakthrough in Sri Lankan economy? I am not referring to the USD 100 million, which is a peanut in a politician’s perspective. It may be a magnet that could attract millions of tourists to the country.

There are several long due ‘bests’ in the country that may have completely changed our fate. One is a national Gem Museum.

Every time that I organize an international event in Sri Lanka or attend such event, a majority of foreign participants ask for a specific thing; to visit a place that displays Sri Lankan gems. Apart from few house-turned-display units  in Colpitty (Colombo 03), where the major focus is to sell few stones to the visitors, there is no place to take them.

Instead of investing in some white-elephant style mega projects we could have invested on a full-scale geological museum, that displays all types of gems in Sri Lanka, samples of rock formations and even minerals. Gradually the contents may be expanded to include samples from the rest of the world. Such a place could have attracted not only tourists but geologists, gemologists, nature conservationists etc. etc. 

We are still not late. If we crown such large museum complex with the Adam’s Eye, the world’s largest blue sapphire, we may attract millions of people per year getting billions of dollars; of course with well-tailored advertising campaign.  The money will flow into the country, not only by sales of tickets to the museum, as you may easily understand. The collection through tickets will be a minute portion of the foreign revenue to the country. 

The government should invest in buying the gem from the owner rather than letting it leave the country for a mere 100 million dollars. Alternatively, the government may come to an agreement with the owner (if he would like) to give a significant portion of the ticket collection to the owner for a long period. Even the museum can be named after him, if he agrees to such proposal.

To make it or break it, the decision is in the hands of the government. Let’s see the fate of the Adam’s Eye and that of us as well. 

1 comment:

  1. Can the Adam’s Eye Bail out Sri Lanka? I don’t think so. It shouldn’t be a surprise if the news says that the gem has been stolen suddenly (or missing) and a few weeks later some local politician’s foreign account is blessed with an enormous amount of dollars. Two mutually exclusive events though :-)