Please do not make Sri Lanka a playground of the foreigners and the rich, like Cuba under Batista.
Posted on May 8th, 2013

By Charles.S.Perera

 There is no reason why Sri Lanka should put all its cards on tourism, as the number one money maker.  It should be kept in mind that  tourism while it brings financial benefits , it also brings  innumerable social problems. Sri Lanka as a developing country which made much head way in the economic growth should  consider for whose benefit  the country is being developed. It is the people of Sri Lanka that  should first  benefit by the countries development.

 Secondly, the promoters of tourism should not be allowed to do so haphazardly, it should be planned at the highest level and Parliamentary approval should be obtained.  That is to avoid the infiltration of disadvantages, vice in all its different forms, and  loss of moral values  that could affect the country, socially and culturally.  Each time a new project is commenced for tourist attraction, one has to consider how much it would be beneficial to the country, what effect will it have on the people , to what extent it will cause damage to the environment, to the culture and the social fabric of the country, and whether such a project is really necessary.

 There is a sudden interest in night motor  racing first in Colombo and they are proposing to bring it to Kandy.  How many people are going to benefit from this night racing  project.  Is it really necessary for the wellbeing of the people.  Is it a financially viable  project that would bring in more money to the country.  What other benefits will it have ?  Should the village youth be made to take an interest in night racing, and  for what reason and for what benefit ?  Have the organisers considered  the atmospheric  pollution, it would cause ?  This is a sport of the rich. Is it  really unnecessary to be promoted in Sri Lanka. It would be in the interest of Sri Lanka to stop motor car racing whether in the day time or in the night.

 If it is a project promoted by Nimal Rajapakse, it could be understood as he is a modern, fashionable young man rich enough to have his own  racing car.  But he is not doing so  with foresight.  If that is the case, the President should intervene to stop it as it is a game of the rich and will not benefit the country nor will it bring  more money   from a few rich western  racing car pilots  who will participate to make it another play ground for the big names of  sport of  car racing. 

Another project that is being talked about is opening of Casinos .  There was one casino long time back in Kandy in Sri Lanka.  It caused immense problems as people got addicted to games and spent all their earnings  in it.  Many got into debt. It will be like the liquor shops that have been opened in almost  every small town.   The poor people get ruined, families break up the poor take to prostitution.  Is that what Sri Lanka wants ?  It is the middle and the lower middle class people  who may  get interested in Casinos  and ruin themselves  catching the virus of the Casino games.

 There was also a suggestion by a Member of the Parliament to open brothels.  There are also such houses already going on unchecked under different business names .  The leaders should take into accounts falling of moral standards, crimes against women, child rape, and molestation of tourists. 

Back in Sri Lanka I was told how in a private textile weaving centres, the owner uses the working girls for prostitution.  There was a time when special sex tourisms were organised by some tour operators in some Western countries, where the  rich retired old men were taken to Philippines for sex with minors.  Tourism should not therefore be hailed as the ideal money maker.

 Eagle Golf link is the fourth golf link  functioning in Sri Lanka. Is that a necessity ?  How many Sri Lankans gains from having golf links.  It also caters to the rich and well to do  western tourist. How many tourists come to play golf in Sri Lanka, and how many in SrI Lanka take to playing golf. There appears to be a mix up of priorities.  Every such project has money as the objective , without considering advantages and disadvantages  that come along with  such ventures.

 It is the same with developing beach resorts for  sea surfing.  It should be  made a normal tourist attraction without making it a special attraction for competition surfing.  Some Sri Lanka beaches are ideal for Surfing, but one should not promote them for international competition standard.

 The Sri Lanka’s ancient tanks were built by our kings  to provide farmers water for their farming lands.  Therefore no ancient tank  should be turned into a tourist attraction for boat riding and  surfing.

 Hotels are coming up like mushrooms and all hotel rooms are not occupied.  The room rates are too high for local tourists.  The West is having an economic crisis and the western tourists tend to spend less.  Therefore, it is wise to slow down on development of the tourist Sector.

 There are other important things that have still not been attended to such as settling down the Sinhala IDPs in Jaffna, which has been long delayed. The Government should also start Sinhala settlements in the north and east before it is too late.

 Tourism is not well planned each one seems to have one’s own idea of tourism. What do the tourist coming from abroad want ?  Do they want a home away from home ?  Of course they would like to enjoy the beauty of nature. See how the people live  and relax in a sunny beach.  But meal wise do they want the same wines they drink at home ? Do they want hard liquor Whisky, Brandy, Martini, Gin etc., they find back home ?  They could be substituted by Sri Lanka bear, and Arrack.

 Why cannot Sri Lanka offer the tourist a real Sri Lankan holiday, without liquor simple Sri Lanka meals, vegetarian, and fish (less  beef and chicken),  accompanied  with tea ?   Serve coconut juice and other fruit juices instead of expensive wines. 

 What is important is the comfort in rooms secure un-interfered relaxation in the hotel premises. They should be provided security when travelling. The Tourist  Department should think out ways of cutting expenditure by not providing  facilities available in the countries from where the tourists come from,  but substitute those with exotic Sri Lankan facilities.  Make the tourists feel that they are living their holiday in Sri Lanka which is different in every respect from where they have  come. 

 There had been reports of many attacks on tourists lately.  The tourist board should train special security officers for the safety of the tourists.  Many brawls that end up seriously are the results of consumption of excessive liquor by the locals, who are allowed in to hotels.  Tourists have their limits and know how to consume liquor.  It is the locals who have to be controlled

14 Responses to “Please do not make Sri Lanka a playground of the foreigners and the rich, like Cuba under Batista.”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “There are other important things that have still not been attended to such as settling down the Sinhala IDPs in Jaffna, which has been long delayed. The Government should also start Sinhala settlements in the north and east before it is too late.”

    At least now.

  2. lingamAndy Says:

    Sinhala IDPs in Jaffna, – even with 90% force sitting in NEP , not even one Sinhala IDP settled yet in Japanaya !!!
    80ish , where is Sinhala bakery in Jaffan Town , where is DS Gunasena Book shop in Standly Road ( not fare way from present EPDP head office(former Srithar theader) !

    if you do not wake up now , You will never wake up after Septermber 2013 NP election !!!

    Sinhala Sakotharaya !

    How is this Lorenzo !!! why this kolaveri , kolaveri…..gi

  3. Naram Says:

    This is an excellent expose of the sad predicament of a country that had all its organised people’s movements, tradeunions, political parties wiped out with 1979 constitution drafted to attract robber barons. Politicians and judiciary have risen to be all powerful moneyed classes, collecting back handers from each and every project initiator, drug dealer and ponzi banker; Petrol heads that rule in a country that does not produce a single barrel of oil see vital issues of health, transport, employment secondary to create a false image of a first world economy. Whole charade is fuelled by exporting domestic servants that started as to middle east now expanded to the the wider world but with little kindness or welfare where ever they go. and the locals will be reduced to run sex industry for survival.

  4. cassandra Says:

    Naram,
    Yes, how very sad. Is there much left now but to hope and pray?

  5. Christie Says:

    India and Indian colonial parasites want the island nation to rely on Tea and Rubber nothing else so they can leave the Sinhalese the poorest who lost their land to the Indian colonial parasites.

    The writer should read some Sinhala literature like Salalihini Sandasay and study our culture, way of life, our cuisine and fashions before the arrival of British and Indian colonial parasites.

    One thing I am proud of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranayake is her promotion of tourism in Sri Lanka. She was the pioneer of Sri Lanka tourism.

    Those who do not like car racing, sex, alcohol and gambling are not forced to engage in such activities. Those who like to enjoy a bit life should not be deprived of what they enjoy.

    The article remind me of buses in Jaffna where women sit on one side and men on the other side. A Sinhala Jaffna University student was stabbed by Tamils for inadvertently sitting on the women’s side.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Bring in what helps the People of the land in their daily living :

    * Bring in re-Settlement of others displaced from the North.
    * Bring back the Co-op movements and empower the People.
    * Bring in Enviro friendly and plentiful Energy sources such as Solar & Wind energy, etc. Encourage discovery of new energy sources suited to Lanka.
    * Bring in a safe Food & Medicine supplies.
    * Bring in Quality shelter to house large numbers. (China has excess shelter provided for the people there).
    * Bring in Self Sufficiency in human needs, wherever possible.
    * Bring quality Public Parks for every city & town.
    * Bring in Quality Care for the Aged (Retirement Homes).
    etc.etc.
    The list in long indeed.

    Golf, nigh races etc. can come in too, but in limited show case supply. These items only benefit Tourism and the affluent folk of Lanka. The ‘trickle down effect’ of benefits for the ordinary People is next to nothing from such ventures. Say NO to Casinos, prostitution and drug dens, or go into slow death in lack of self respect. Self Respect is the unseen strength of a Nation.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    And please give us clean, pure DRINKING WATER, all over Lanka ! If NCP gets clean tap water to drink and farm with, I would call for a national day of celebration.

  8. Christie Says:

    We are getting more chinese tourists. The current four Casinos are small and has international names but no international connections. i know whyski drinking cigar smoking socialist do not like the poor enjoying a bet or watching the car races. These sovialists when overseas go to brothels, races etc etc.

  9. Marco Says:

    Actually, a more apt headline would be “Is Sri Lanka a playground for the Politicians, their off springs and henchmen”

    There is ample evidence to warrant such a headline.

  10. lingamAndy Says:

    Casinos, prostitution and drug dens, or go into slow death in lack of self respect- What We can expect from Comico Economic policy by Maththar mahamila (10%) commision GCSE educated ( not sure may be less) Economic Minister Basil Rajapaksa !!!

    Mahe Amme !!! Where are ? Yaridda Solli Ala ( to whom I can tell to cry ! )

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    Andy,

    Basil Rajapakse has completed his Secondary Education at Ananda College. Secondary Ed. means High School or College education. He has done a good job in Development of the country, considering the odds of post war and weather disasters, not to mention harassment by various foreign organizations. We are merely pointing out that there are lots more to be done, and priorities must be met. Also warning not to overdo the Casino bit etc.

    You are probably mixing up Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu in the 2-G scam in TN ?

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    Pure drinking water to the Sinhalese is a MUST.

    That should be govt.’s TOP PRIORITY.

  13. chandrasena Pandithage Says:

    Charles.S.Perera මහතාණෙනි, ඔබගේ මේ ලිපිය සම්බන්ධව අප දක්වන ගෞරවය පිලිගන්න. මෙය ඉතා කාලෝචිත ලිපියක් බව පලමුව ප්‍රකාශ කල යුතුමය. නමුත් මේ ලිපියේ ඇති කරුණු හා ඊට එහා ිය කරුණු රාශියක් මේ කියන සංචාරක ව්‍යාපාරය හා බැදී පවතී. මෙවැනි ලිපි මගින් වත් යතාර්ථය පෙන්වා දිය හැකි නම් මේ සමාජයට කරන විශාල සමාජ මෙහෙවරකි. ඒ සදහා ඔබට ශක්තිය ලැබේවා!

  14. Cerberus Says:

    I would suggest you watch the film “Havana” with Robert Redford to really understand what it was like under Batista. It is also a very entertaining movie. We can easily turn into another Cuba if we are not careful as pointed out by Charles Perera. Development is important but we must keep in mind the effect of all these development on the environment and the society in general. If we lose our distinct Buddhist culture and end up with a pariah culture it will be useless for human happiness.

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