Perhaps not the best response
Analysts say it’s difficult to secure hotels against terrorist attack. In Sri Lanka the formula is pretty simple. Bunch of brown guys with guns. Atmosphere of a military camp. Racial profiling and checkpoints throughout the city. This also sucks, but I suspect a terrorist would have trouble sneaking even a nasty fart into the Hilton. I don’t think security is impossible, it’s just so crude that it makes life suck. So, our hotels are ‘secure’, but they’re also a monster buzzkill, what with the roadblocks and drawn guns. The question isn’t whether you can secure a hotel, but at what human cost. And whether there’s a better way.
Security, Sri Lanka Estyle
Despite being home to the godfather of suicide bombing, Colombo is also relatively secure. There aren’t many bombs going off, and the ones that are is podi podi. This is partially due to the LTTE being run by washed up geezers, but also because Colombo is on total lock-down. You can rarely drive more than 5 km without getting stopped, especially round hotel row. During events and stuff there are cops literally every 20 meters. Granted, most of these cops can’t fire their guns, but they’re there.
This evening I drove home down Amarasekera Mawatha, where some Minister lives. There were literally 30 guys with automatic weapons hanging outside, and they stopped and asked where I was going, checking ID. This sucks, but I’m also not able to walk into this guy’s house with a duffel bag full of guns.
Getting into the Cinnamon Grand consists of driving past a couple barriers if you want to valet, or driving down into the basement. You can also walk in without metal detectors, and with luggage. However, the perimeter around the Cinnamon has very active checkpoints and you’re pretty much get searched 1/4 times or so. The Hilton and Galadari et all are totally secure, you simply will get searched on all roads going in. And you can’t really pull a boat up because the coastline is dotted with ships.
I’m sure India would do this, but they could also do to note that our tourism has plummeted and that such a system generally spooks the shit out of people. The hotels aren’t as much fun anymore, they’re really difficult to get to (sometimes impossible) and the experience generally sucks. But people aren’t especially likely to die there.
India can adopt this system, which would really involve locking down the whole city and racial profiling of Muslims. I personally think that’s the wrong path. The more security you see, the less secure a place is. Real security is much more holistic. It involves solving ones national/territorial/racial problems, providing a decent living for most people and employing technology and intelligence to combat the inevitable human spam. For example, security forces should have access to video from inside the hotel, and training in such situations. Or you can just deploy a bunch of monkeys with guns and hope that they shoot out Shakespeare. Honestly, it generally works. It just makes for shitty hotels.