SAD STATE OF SIGIIYA
Posted on November 22nd, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera  

We Just returned from one of the World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka today. Despite the fact that I should not be climbing up the lion rock due to my age  ,I had a lion,s heart to overcome my own reluctance and fear  and I concurred.

Rock was full of foreigners of European ,Chinese and many other nationalities who are charged 4350 Rs where I was charged only  80 Rs   ,Of course for 80 Rs I was not supposed to bring my car to the gate hence we had to hire three wheeler paying 300 Rs to get to the Local” gate after  a de tour .I did not get the wash room facility like in foreign sectors ( which reminded me of apartheid in South Africa ) where an attendant was standing at the door ( interestingly there was a notice board that it is free to use) ,who expected the foreigner (who discharged his refuse” on our land  ) is rewarded with a toilet paper half-roll when you enter and he keeps smiling .

I knew all these as I came down running to have pee and found that with all the precautions , toilet was smelling .I did not mind because local toilet is worse and stinks .

If your remember I wrote about toilets in the museum in Pollonnaruwa .there were notice boards indicating for locals” and for foreigners”

I noted that so called guides  carrying an umbrella pestering locals as well as foreigners to use them and charging exorbitant prices. I also observed that  quite elderly men and women  were trying hard . to climb up with the help of guides who lose consciousness after hearing about  their fee after they descend

We should ask UNESCO to provide a First Aid with some ambulance type device to bring down and person who can get ill due to steep climbing .Even at half way point there are no officers or para medics to attend to any emergency .Some stairs were badly rusting and wobbly and yet Department of Archaeology turns blind eye to defective structures. At the entry point they could have given some printed    material about the rock as the guides who speak foreign languages were uttering nonsense

Department guards look at local people who may be fair in colour with suspicion and my wife who was wearing a foreign attire was almost stopped until she blabbered in our language

On the way down scrupulous traders were milking money out of ignorant foreigners by charging 10 times for their artefacts and destroy the Sri Lankan Name .

Department should privatise the whole Sigiriya Rock to a  party who may  run the establishment in a better  way so that they spend more money for the welfare of locals as well as foreigners .

THEY SHOULD IS AN EOI (EXPRESSION OF INTEREST ) ,SHORT LIST FEW  COMPANIES AND ISSUE RFP (REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL ) AND THEN EVALUATE A POTENTIAL BID .

THEN THEY CAN GIVE THE JOB OF RUNNING SIGIRIYA TO A SOMEONE IN THEIR  OWN DYNASTY !

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

2 Responses to “SAD STATE OF SIGIIYA”

  1. Sarath W Says:

    During my visits to Sri Lanka in 2009, 2011 and 2013 I too had really bad experiences with the public toilets and tour guides. I wrote to the minister of tourism, but did not get even an acknowledgement from him. The only decent toilet facility was on the Colombo – Gall expressway.
    One of my suggestions was to train the tour guides like in Thailand. Only accredited guides should allowed to accompany the tourist. Clean and dry toilet facilities must be provided at every site where entrance fee is charged. The restaurants around the tourists destinations must be monitored regularly for hygiene, cleanliness and for providing proper toilet facilities, clean, dry, water to flush them, with soap dispensers etc.

  2. Nimal Says:

    This place is a disgrace like it’s dark history with naked women etc.
    To start with the toilets at the bottom of the rock is disgusting. My Japanese, Malaysian relations/ guests were abused by the guides where they(claim to be ex army people)they are suppose to guide the guests and hold them when necessary but they did that in a pervertish way.Charged us Rs 87,000 for 4 people we hired.
    Because of this we did not complete the climb and went back home. Looks like they are very eager to touch and even abuse the fair skin and over the last decades the country gone so backward people are not know the art of getting on with that type of foreign people, unlike us where we had so many as friends and even girl friends in the island in our young days in SL, where our usual haunt was the places like coconut grove etc. were the young use to get together on Saturdays.
    Our Amuda clad politicians put the clock back on our countries where our youth are very much handicapped in the world outside. Only way out of their frustrations is to get to places of religion and hallucinate about the life and culture back home. Recently a ex student living in UK wanted to imitate us by going about in the wrong way, by getting drunk and did exactly what the people in Sigiya did and I was informed that he was sent back home to Sl.Our two bit leaders set a bad precedence by indulging themselves in blue whiskey parties, and even in he South of the island where an incident occurred where the boy friend was murdered and his wife or girlfriend was abused. My wife and I narrowly escaped a mob that taunted us and to me they look liked like kids of the politicians. Some politicians seems to like a double life, taking the people and tax payers for a ride. We need the colonial types back to save our country. I had a disgusting and sad time in the last three months in SL,not the country I knew.

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