Saturday, June 5, 2010

Will Sri Lankan apartheid raise its ugly head?

Many years ago me and two of my friends drove into Villa Ocean view hotel for the lunch buffet and we were told sorry the hotel is for foreigners only no locals allowed. Well this was a hotel which survived on local customers during the JVP era and when the tourists started coming back they forgot all about the very people who made it possible to keep their head above water.

How tragic is it when you are treated like a outcast in your own country by your own countrymen. But then us Sri Lankans have very short memories and are known for biting the hand that feeds them.

As the tourists are coming back again I can already see this kind of situation raising its ugly head. Just today someone told me of a place called mud house which you can't even classify as a real hotel turning locals away. This is not right and I want to urge everyone to protest ferociously to the authorities and make a huge noise if you do hear of similar situations. Because this kind of situation needs to be nipped in the bud.


B.D. said...

Hi. I've visited Sri Lanka many times. Love it. But I've seen a bit of the problem you talk about. It seems a really odd practice. I can't imagine the local population being turned away in other countries. Perhaps the main reason for the problem is that pricing is often two-tiered. So, I guess hoteliers just want to get more money from the higher rates foreigners have to pay. But some Sri Lankans seem to think foreigners make better guests than locals.

So, what is it that would make a foreigner a better guest than a Sri Lankan. Is it that the Sri Lankan guest will invite many friends to the room? Is it that the SL guest is more likely to damage or misuse the facilities? I'd be curious if you had any ideas.

cj said...

You know BD you are right about the two tiered system but the reality is Sri Lankans pay MORE than the tourists in most star class hotels. Recently I was at Blue Waters sometime back and we were paying a 100 dollars a night full board at a 50% discount and a manager I was talking to said all the tourists who were at the hotel were at 50 dollars and this was on an all inclusive basis. Which includes local beverages including liquor. Even in the more cheaper back packer kind of environments such as Hikkaduwa I have seen Sri Lankans spend far more lavishly than the tourists. There are many contributory factors to this situation. The first is that most business owners have inherited a complex where they think anything or anyone foreign is good and if it is white it is that much more better. Guess it is a trait which we can't shake off as we have been under the rule of the white man for longer than we have been independent. But there are also a few sri lankans who go on trips and get drunk and end up making a nusciance of themselves to everyone around. This happens mostly in company functions where people don't know how to handle themselves in such an environment. I have heard of people vomiting in the pool as well as putting hands into dishes. But these are by a few individuals. And it can be controlled with propper security. The thing is most sri lankans have short memories and don't know the meaning of being greatful. Sorry about the long reply but this makes my blood boil. And I am generally a calm and mild person.

Magerata said...

Is there a law against this? Perhaps sue the nuts out of the owners, because they seem to have them.