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CHOGM: Sri Valentino Shoes Online Lanka hopes economic prosperity will overshadow violent past as Commonwealth leaders gather

Some four years after the end of its brutal civil war Sri Lanka is a country in limbo, mired in its violent past as a future of economic prosperity beckons.

This week's Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting reveals the country's hunger for respect on the world stage and the foreign investment that comes with it.

It is also bringing the kind of attention the regime of president Mahinda Rajapaksa loathes - a democratic press trying to resolve unanswered questions about the bloody end to the civil war.

First, to the positives.

I first came to Sri Lanka three years ago on my honeymoon, mere months after the civil war ended with a decisive victory to the government forces over the Tamil Tigers.

A trip from the airport to central Colombo took an hour on the kind of roads you would expect in an undeveloped nation whose economy had been ripped apart by 25 years of Valentino Shoes On Sale violence.

Now a four-lane expressway whisks CHOGM delegates into town in a mere 25 minutes.

It was opened last week and is as good a road as you will find anywhere.

Flags of the Commonwealth countries, flopping listlessly in the tropical air, drape the 29-kilometre route.

Like most of the new infrastructure in Sri Lanka, Chinese money paid for the expressway and Chinese workers largely built it.

Even the unpainted pagoda-style concrete toll booths bear an unmistakable resemblance to those I saw on Chinese highways during my recent two-year stint in Beijing.James Packer sees future in Sri LankaAustralian casino mogul James Packer is another believer in Sri Lanka economic future.

Speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum this week in Colombo, Mr Packer urged the Sri Lankan government to tap into the growing Chinese tourism market.

"Now is the time for Sri Lanka and all countries to recognise the tourism opportunities emerging in Asia and work hard to meet the market with the right tourism offering," he said.

And Mr Packer is proposing to Valentino Shoes build such an offering - a $400m high-end casino in central Colombo that he says would transform the city, provide 2,500 jobs and a rapid expansion of tourist numbers.

Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke is Mr Packer's "education ambassador" to Sri Lanka.

Mr Packer is also offering to train Crown Sri Lanka workers at his casino in Melbourne.

The charm offensive appears to be working.

Two senior minister from the Rajapaksa government welcomed Mr Packer to country and hinted at steadfast support for the casino proposal from a "legal regime supportive of business", as external affairs minister Gamini Peiris put it. The politics of war crimes When Sri Lanka's human rights record once again comes under the spotlight, Australia's leaders may be compelled to trawl the depths of hypocrisy, writes Gordon Weissfor The Drum. 

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