Neo-Apartheid at Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya
Posted on February 27th, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

Response …

 I placed an opinion in the Lankaweb about the apartheid attitude of Sri Lankan hotel owners in Sri Lanka sent to me by a Sri Lankan family residing in Canada .

Incident quoted in the opinion was about Grand Hotel in Nuwara ELiya where they were not treated well by local staff in the hotel

We read news items every day how hotel owners in Mirissa who have placed notices rejecting the patronizing Sri Lankans

I may have some justification about the action by hotel owners in Mirissa ,due to the fact the some local politicians  ran amok and killed a British visitor and beaten up a Russian Girlfriend .

Now under Yahapalanaya such actions are not much heard of and I assume that police is under less influence of local politicians .

Similar experience I encountered about apartheid in Sri Lanka was in Nuwara Eliya Tea Factory

Myself ,my wife  and my son who was around 15 years came from England  and visited the hotel ,with grandiose plans to enjoy Nuwara Eliya breath-taking beauty and obviously Sri Lankan Hospitality

We had a good day and wanted to go for dinner .We all wore usual simple dresses and my son obviously wanted to wear his only short trouser

(of course up to knee length) as he did not carry any long trousers on holiday travel in hot Sri Lanka

To our dismay, restaurant staff in Tea Factory did not permit my son to enter due to him wearing a short trouser!

I initially begged and later became irritated for the ridiculous action and complained to the Manager .

He was adamant and ,showing his obnoxious disregard to  our plight was not allowing my son to go into the restaurant

He had the audacity to ask us to get the son to wear a sarong which he wanted give to us from a waiter,s  closet !! claiming that he should cover his legs !!!!!!!!!!!

I was so disappointed and with no other alternative sent my son back to the room and sent him room service and two of us decided to have the dinner in the restaurant.

When we sat to eat I saw some European youngsters entering the restaurant, with torn  Dirty Jeans ,where you can see their thighs and half of the buttocks ,and yet allowed to enter and join  the dinner

I complained to the belligerent staff and the manager and they turned blind eye and walked away

This happen during the war time in Sri Lanka ,when Sri Lanka hardly had tourists ,and the hotel owners were desperate to retain whoever comes to Sri Lanka  ??????

Now when I read the opinion about the incident in Grand Hotel .I keep wondering why this stupid nation cannot be more sensible to understand that locals should be treated better than outsiders as this our country .

God save Sri Lankans …

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

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