I actually wrote some original shizz for the papers this week. In the Nation there’s something about developing Sri Lankans rather than just infrastructure. In the Leader there’s something about the horror in Tangalle and how the government needs to choose between thugs and tourists.
If you visit all the things the government has built, they are all spaces waiting for people. The Southern Expressway is largely empty, partly because connecting expressways need to be built, but also because the majority of vehicles in Sri Lanka are motorbikes and trishaws, not cars. Since the former are rightly not allowed on the highway, we need to think about how we can enable more people to afford a car. We also need to think about how we can enable more Sri Lankans to shop at high-end malls, stay at five-star hotels, etc. As we encourage tourism and ports, we also need to encourage young people that can compete on an international level. (Making infrastructure come alive)
At some point the government’s headlong rush towards tourism and development will run into the contradiction of the effective mafia that has pervaded many levels of government and Sri Lankan culture. This makes it clear that it’s not enough to develop property and roads, the government itself has to develop into something equally civilized to match. In short, they cannot have their cake and rape it too. (Is Sri Lankan Tourism Safe?)