Adding Glitter

As a British colony, Ceylon was favoured for sourcing raw material and other commodities to satisfy the boundless tastes of the English. From its teas to exotic spices all exports went out in raw commodity form. Over half a century after independence, things have changed very little.rn
Some of the countrys top exports still go out in commodity form for others to do the value addition. Authorities are now trying to reposition a popular export from colonial times, the Ceylon blue sapphire.rn

rnThey are not just trying to add value to this unique stone but also reposition it as the flagship of the countrys gem trade.rn

rnA typical gem mine in the Ratnapura District employs about 12 people in a mine.rn

rnThe three mines in a row in Galpotawela employ 36. Ranjith a partner of this operation has been in the gem mining trade for over two decades.rn

rnldblquote I have been working here for the past 20 years and have mined stones for Rs. 500,000 to 600, 000,
dblquote Ranjith Wijesuriya sa