Lack of Culture or Business Etiquette of Sri Lanka “Businessmen”
Posted on July 30th, 2012

Prof. Hudson McLean

I have heard from numerous sources and potential investors, their frustration of not being able to get a response from Sri Lanka “Businessmen”.

Whether it be the Government Official Ministries or the Private Sector, the Sri Lankans seem to overflow with lethargic incompetence when it comes to answering emails, or telephone calls.

This is an illness from the days of post-Colonial Sri Lanka, specially after the British management withered slowly but regretfully.

Today, in this Day & Age of Internet, Email free with abundance, the lazy and incompetent Secretaries and their Masters, do not check emails and fail to empty the Email Boxes.

Although Sri Lanka has no excuses of Terrorism, the foreign Inward Investors do not seem to have Confidence & Trust on the Mentality of the Natives.

Same applies with the Domestic Workers who are shunted off to Middle East, with no basic education or some pre-induction training, and complain when the employers beat the servants up for their gross total ignorance.

Of course the Government is over the moon when the foreign currency flows in but, what is the Government role to ensure that the quality of the worker satisfies the employer?

And when the Email Boxes are full, at official levels, complaints or any other information is totally obstructed. The poor soul may rot in a Saudi Arabian prison, after a sexual assault, and with no means of communication or redress of grievances.

Back to the Commander-in-Chief to get his horse-whip out and crack at the minions and order them to clean-up the act and let communications flow!


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7 Responses to “Lack of Culture or Business Etiquette of Sri Lanka “Businessmen””

  1. nandimitra Says:

    Predatory nature of the business sector is no different from the rest of society. A recent incidence characterised it . A leading Tourist company of Sri Lanka who wished to develop a hotel wanted the following condition attached to the contract. ” if for an unknown reason the contract had to be broken the land lord must pay the company the initial investment with interests of 10% per year” it did not matter who broke the contract. This is a typical SL business ethos. You are a winner all the way. I dread to think how much money these guys have borrowed from our banks / EPF which they do not wish to honour.

  2. Dham Says:

    “Whether it be the Government Official Ministries or the Private Sector, the Sri Lankans seem to overflow with lethargic incompetence when it comes to answering emails, or telephone calls.”
    Very true.

  3. Sirih Says:

    Having a drink in San Fran bar, with wealthy ex cisco guys I was ask by very big VC to help them to get access to SL’s infrastructure area from US$ 20 Million to 700+ Million projects.

    Since my brother got 2 BOI set ups in SL, I ask him to talk to treasury and guess what ? Nothing happen and one of those investor use to fund SL’s garment sector 20 yrs ago and very positive about SL.
    I did dabble in SL linkedin site to mention this but companies that contact me had very low ROI figures so Yanks are not interested.
    If some one or a company that has done DD and got all the figures pls. contact me via Linkedin and I will get access to funds for you.

    I believe inter dept rivalry is at play here and some one need to create one shop approach to this issue since funds are available if country got its act together.

  4. Lorenzo Says:


    “Saudi Arabian spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been assassinated, a report says.

    The Paris-based Voltaire Network confirmed the death of 63-year-old Prince Bandar on its website on Monday, citing unofficial sources.

    The international non-profit organization, which publishes a free website ( in eight languages, said that Prince Bandar was killed because of his role in the July 18 deadly bombing in Damascus.

    The bombing killed at least four high-profile Syrian security officials, including Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha and his deputy Assef Shawkat who was also President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law.

    However, there has been no confirmation or denial neither from Saudi officials nor from the Syrian government yet.

    Bandar, who was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005, was named the kingdom’s Secretary General of the National Security Council in 2005. On 19 July 2012, he was appointed Director General of the Saudi Intelligence Agency by King Abdullah.

    Many said his promotion was a reward for the role he played in organizing the attack in Damascus, the organization reported.”

  5. aloy Says:

    Dear All,
    News flash is ok. To my mind we should not comment on merits or demerits of these happenings. About a million of our citizens including my own brother work in this place. The remitances of these people helped us to fight the tiger war. I have seen many adverse comments about this country and and their religion recently in this site. These comments also affect our prople adversely. Let us leave these matters for them to sort out. This is the way I think. We can comment when our people return home with lots of nails in their body.

  6. AnuD Says:

    I have personal experience. Everyone in Sri Lanka tries to make a fast buck and otherwise, they are not really business minded. We cannot establish long term relations with them, particularly when we contact them from here.

    It is the same with govt politicians. Many had told that. When one person tried to bring in a project there, the question was how many vehicles, how many foreign trips etc. So, he had taken the project else where.

    Anyway, US Mcdonald like business, may be with the help of govt moles, had been very patient and had taken their businesses to USSR, when it was there and to CHINA long before those were open to outside. It is the same with Sri Lanka I heard and Sri Lankan people are very fond of hamburgers and hot dogs.

  7. AnuD Says:

    Sri Lankans are good in hospitality. We are used to volunteer work for so long. Yet, it looks people are suffering.

    One news report says that police had arrested parents for prostituting their own daughter for the sake of money.

    I wonder why even buddhist temples can not reach to these needy people instead of expanding the temple.

    It is stupid to expect from politicians when we know very well that they are there for themselves.

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