Hotel racism - ‘We don’t take Sri Lankans’
London is a place full of hundreds of different foreign/alien faces.
They come from all over the world. The 'London Machine' is operated by
the people who have arrived here between the sun rising Nicobar island
and the sun setting American Samoa. There is a small percentage of
migrants who live here illegally, employed illegally.
Wherever they come from, whatever the status they have, they are
human and Fundamental Rights are observed and protected by the
government here. If there is a violation in any form of Human Rights or
Fundamental Rights, the government takes immediate action against the
The victim is protected without giving any consideration to his race,
ethnic origin, political affiliation, sexuality, disability, belief or
religion. Most of the times the violators are punished and the victims
Living in harmony. File photo
It is not that there are no racists in the United Kingdom. They say
that the British National Party is a face of a racist group. But
according to them their priority is to stop people coming into the UK
and to deport people who live there illegally. They have won a seat in
the European Parliament. But there is a growing opposition to this front
throughout the United Kingdom.
It is also evident that there is racism among some police officers in
the UK. But if reported the offenders face the sack and could pay fines
if found guilty. There were quite a few payouts being offered recently
to some officers who faced racism at work.
In the United Kingdom there is no limit on entry to any hotel or
restaurant unless they are in the category of 'Members Only'. As a law
abiding person you can hang around in any public place with no
restrictions. But there are two instances I know where people have
denied access due to some reason. No one allowed into McDonald
restaurants with 'uncovered chest'.
The other is that you are not allowed into the main pavilion of the
Lords Cricket ground without a tie. I experienced the latter restriction
myself sometime ago.
We have been living and practising Law in the UK for the past 27
years. It is not an exaggeration if I say that I have had no 'Visible'
experience of racism in the United Kingdom. When we were struggling in
law courts at our early stages without knowing proper procedures, the
judges themselves helped us to overcome the difficulties. I still thank
them and remember those days with utmost appreciation.
Anyway, when white people cultivated the land 'Ceylon' they bent the
backbone of the Sri Lankan people with such power that they still
struggle to make it straight. I have some evidence and experience to
prove that 'unfair' allegation.
It is not unfounded that some areas in Sri Lanka are under foreign
influence. It has expanded during last few years to the extent of home
ownership over hotels, restaurants and other businesses. I have no
objection to a foreigner acquiring a property under Sri Lankan law.
If there is a way why not exercise it. Apart from hotels and
restaurants there are medical Spas and Ayurvedic treatment centres that
have been started by Westerners who are either on work permits or
settled on the basis of marriage to a Sri Lankan. Some of those centres
are owned by Sri Lankans too. Visitors from all over the world receive
treatment at these places. They rest. They enjoy. The bill is around one
hundred thousand rupees a week.
The workers are of Sri Lankan origin. It brings a considerable amount
of foreign exchange to this country. Whether the businesses pay proper
income taxes is not a question to ask as they ease unemployment.
But in some of those Spas and centres there is no place for Sri
Lankan visitors. “We don’t take Sri Lankans”, the big-mouthed proud
manager denies access to locals even if they are capable of spending
such means to spend time there. Who allows these people to dictate terms
and become racists to Sri Lankans by not letting them receive treatment
in their Spars and centres? Why are local authorities keeping a blind
eye on these matters? Who can justify the acts of some foreigner who
comes from the other end of the world, marries a Sri Lankan to obtain a
resident visa or gets a work permit to buy a hotel or a Spa and have the
guts to deny access to locals? Is there any reason not to take action
against these racists by the relevant authorities?
We have a proud leadership which did not bow its head to the
unreasonable West. Now all Sri Lankans, whether Sinhalease, Tamil,
Muslim or Burgher can travel freely in Sri Lanka and have access to any
area with no restrictions. It is time to eliminate racism in some
restaurants, spas and Ayurvedic centres.