21 April, 2024


Dumping On Sri Lanka Culture

By Christopher Rezel

Christopher Rezel

A female payment hawker forcefully voices her revulsion on a video clip doing the rounds regarding excrement on the pavement where she conducts her business.

Her complaint follows the recent Janabalaya Kolombata.

The clip contains other protesting voices but I focus on the woman’s complaint and the neglect at providing facilities for the large numbers of people that regularly come together to march or accumulate to demonstrate.

Organisers never have the foresight that people need to perform their natural functions when they gather for extended time periods.

Or is the assumption that people will somehow find a place, which of course means the nearest laneway, a convenient pavement, the Galle Face seashore, or wherever they are passing or standing at any moment?

The concept of providing portable lavatories does not seem to exist. Perhaps what’s left behind is for shit-eating stray dogs.

Consequently, after any major gathering in Colombo or elsewhere, the stench of urine and shit overpoweringly marks where people have marched or accumulated.

And the excuse that contaminated milk was secretly passed around has never been needed.

Such behaviour is repugnant. It is suggestive of Sri Lanka’s dumping on their proud centuries-old traditions and culture.

Public toilets

Perhaps this is an occasion to discuss public toilets. Most city councils, including Colombo, are unaware that transiting masses need to regularly evacuate bladder and bowels.

If ever someone is brave enough to approach one of the few public toilets scattered far and wide, the stench will usually drive them to seek out a concealed open-air location.

If compelled however to enter for say Number One, they are forced to approach on a urine flooded floor.

If it’s Number Two, readers will easily recall the state in which they have found public squatting pans or toilet bowls.

How our women manage their requirements is not even up for discussion in our male dominated society.

A dearth of public toilets, male and female, is not the only problem. Regular and proper maintenance cycles is another.

Added to that is bad toilet training and indifferent adult usage.

Most people are happy to go into a clean toilet but leave it with their signature splattered everywhere. They’ll piss on the floor and leave their evacuations for someone else to flush away.

Or they will clog up the toilet bowl by chucking into it anything and everything. After all, they know they will not return for a second use of that particular toilet until another day.

In Fort, even the few toilets in commercial cafes and firms open to the public fail the stink and befouling test. Toilet facilities provided usually meet all general requirements. But it seems no one bothers with supervising upkeep.

They usually look and stink as if they are cleaned but once before closing time. It is ignored that 15 minutes after opening time, there will be urine and shit everywhere.

This goes for toilets in the Dutch hospital shopping precinct and that provided by an esteemed café famous for cakes and pastries. Again, indifferent usage and lack of upkeep the problem.

There seems to be another problem with Sri Lankan males using toilets. Most ignore washing their hands on completing their business, whether One or Two.

In addition, because of an exaggerated notion about organ size, they’ll stand a yard away from urinal or toilet bowl, assume their hose pipe to be a foot long, and spray surrounding walls, floor, shoes and feet.

To overcome such haphazard showers, washrooms in the Fort Hilton lobby have fresh, gleaming white bathmats under each of its urinals.

The Hilton’s extensive, gleaming and fragrant smelling washrooms provide all facilities for proper hygiene – toilet rolls, washing sinks, soap, paper towels.

In addition, a male attendant is on hand should there be an inadequacy.

But notwithstanding all such Hilton planning, this writer once stood next to someone we would not hesitate calling a gentleman, a mahatmaya. He was in expensive western suit and tie. He finished his business at the urinal, shook himself off vigorously, then left the facility without washing his hands, leaving behind all his drippings and other impure deposits on the exit door handle.

Foreign visitors

With Sri Lanka’s push for greater numbers of foreign visitors for business and tourism, I am sure we would want the right impression taken away and spoken about abroad.

To achieve this it is not enough to provide a separate “foreigners-only” toilet in the Fort Railway station but leave train toilets and all other public toilets squalid and broken down.

There is also a need for greater emphasis on information campaigns via schools and media on proper toilet usage, personal hygiene, and requirement for the thorough washing of hands after toilet visits.

Then of course the powers that be must take up the construction of more public toilets for males and females strategically placed throughout all cities.

The aspect of having them regularly and properly maintained cannot be adequately emphasised.

But of course all this may be mere wishful thinking?

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Latest comments

  • 3

    We are who we are, because we live in a Miracle country and we are Miracle people. So called norms , etiquette and public awareness do not apply to us.

    • 3

      Christopher Rezel ,

      RE: Dumping On Sri Lanka Culture

      “A female payment hawker forcefully voices her revulsion on a video clip doing the rounds regarding excrement on the pavement where she conducts her business.”

      It is pavement hawker, not payment hawker. You have a typo there.

      Sri Lanka Culture is shitting all over. The people shit, the politicians shit, the monks shit, the priests shit, the Ulama shit, and may other shit.

      That is why it is called, a Land Like No other, where everybody shits. the Land of Native Veddah Aethho occupied by the Shitting Paras from India.

      Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the island and with the Indian subcontinental populations


      Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.

  • 11

    Only the Mayor spends millions on the toilets at her residence. To hell with the others. Who cares. That is the state of Sri Lanka.

    • 5

      Sri Lankan culture? What tosh! Hypocrisy is at the heart of SL culture. We have no shortage of pundits who talk about the lack of toilets in Tamil Nadu while shitting all over the few available here, as Christopher Rezel points out. We are a clean suit -empty pocket society. Better to be without toilets and debt-free like Tamil Nadu than be beggars with dirty toilets

  • 11

    This elimination business proves life is the result of evolution. If not, we have to believe God played a cruel joke. No.1 & 2 are his idea of black humour.

  • 4

    How is the toilet issue being an issue of Sri Lankan culture?

    It is another case of the fifth column wanting to attack independence as the cause of all problems?

    You should consider washing your pants more regularly. That might help!

  • 1

    Isn’t it the failure/negligence of CMC (any Municipal Authority) to warn public early on available sanitary facilities before a planned gathering.

  • 1

    In the old days, pit latrines were popular and encouraged by Public Heath Inspectors under supervision of Medical Officers of Health, at whose office “squatting plates” were on sale for Rs. 75/= each. Each latrine had a ‘squatting area’ and an ‘ablution area’, each 3ft x 3ft.
    These were quite hygienic. The user had to take a bucket of water on entry.
    Later models had a porcelain ‘water seal’ curve in the exit way, and this eliminated odour.
    Even now these exist in households which have wells – the pit has to be sited a minimum 100 feet away from the wells.These are inexpensive and could be installed in public lavatories – separately for males & females, separated by a wall.
    A water tap/tank with tap will be needed.
    Lankans rarely are comfortable with toilet paper.

  • 1

    Miracle of Asia.

    Why not Porta-Potties until real toilets can be built? Charge a fee but have them all across the nation in corners please. Your people are really S*itHole people like Trump says. Sh**hole people from Shithole nations with no manners. We visit your nation and we are horrified how things have gone from bad to worse. In 2011, things were looking clean in Colombo. Now it is another third world dump like Dhaka.

  • 1

    There are ‘Foreigners Only’ toilets in the Colombo Fort and Kandy Railway Stations. There might be other railway stations too with this facility. Although I am not opposed to this idea for obvious and practical reasons (i.e. many Lankans do not know how to use a toilet properly and leave behind a real mess), isn’t this scheme blatantly unconstitutional in principle because it discriminates against our own citizens?

  • 2

    Can you make $19 billion commissions from toilet business? I don’t think so.
    If building public toilets had been such a bountiful source of maga commissions, MaRa, GoTa, and et el would have chosen that business as first priority.

    Instead, these crooks chose Airports hostile to planes and harbours sans ships. So why complain that their “baiyas” did shit and urinate the holy path of savage parade ?

  • 2

    If there was a gathering in Colombo, it is theMunicipality that should give permission to the responsible party. They should have guidelines to them inluding providing of toilet facilities to those who attend it. So, Rosie Senayakae is reponsible for that if her municipality di dnot complete the job. What you are saying is Sri lankan citizens who pays teh same fee train-fare are second class citizens in comparisomn to those puka hodenna nethi suddas. (Oh I get it, they need toilet facilities without water to wash but with toilet papers). I understand your complaint. If Janabalaya brought people without proper toilet facilities, it si the municipality that should clean it and charge the organizers. It is not for stupid so-called journalsits to write crap here. Tht woman, if she has Veideo capabilities, she is not a poor woman who is selling in the pavement. Probably she can afford to a good quality smart phone.

  • 2

    Sri Lankans must start using toilet paper., at least newspaer They must stop using water by left hand to wash their shit. This is too messy and uncivilised.

    • 2

      Yak, wipe and wait? You got the right, stinking name. Take a shower prompto before you write again!

    • 0

      Western Monkies come and say how we should live.

  • 0

    Christopher Rezel must note that it was a joyous occasion with plenty of food and drinks. People were reminded the good old manthra/chinthanaya , “The minorities cause all our ills”.
    The ‘dirtification’ is simply an after-effect.
    The pavement hawker must live with it or else she may not live at all.

    As to the rest of Christopher’s concern about public toilets etc. Unable to explain! Tried hard.
    Maybe our rulers are correct when they say “Our public toilets are squeaky clean”

  • 2

    The excrement problem was created by poisoning the protesters with contaminated milk by some cowardly, creeps. Those should be caught and punished for attempted manslaughter.

  • 0

    According to Gammanpila who appeared in Salakuna program in Hiru TV they had planned to erect 250 mobile toilets but managed to erect only about 100 because Government/Municipality had blocked access to places where they planned to erect these toilets. Could there be a connection between blocking these places and distributing poisoned milk packets that caused diarrhea? Government had done many dirty things to sabotage the ‘Jana Balaya Kolambata’. Government had exposed the true face of ‘Yahapalanaya’. They will come out with the usual explanation. Rajapakse regime did worse things.

  • 0

    Isn’t there a licensing authority who sanctions marches, meetings etc.? It should be the responsibility of that authority to ensure that adequate arrangements are in place, arranged by the Organisers of the event.
    A permit shall not be given unless such facilities are declared arranged and made available. There must be a hefty – refundable, in part if justifiable – deposit in case of any breach of the undertaking by the aforesaid party.
    Alternatively, the Municipality may provide the men and the facilities for a fee and insist on an additional deposit to take care of any increased expenditure that would be incurred when the crowd is over and above what was projected.

  • 0

    Colombo Fort and Pettah and even Maradana and Borella , the busiest parts of
    Colombo, had been reasonably beautiful until street vendors flooded in and
    allowed to settle down wherever a tiny bit of space was found ! Pedestrians were
    thrown out from the pavements to the middle of the road .Motor traffic got jammed
    and the whole of Colombo became hell of a capital city since then . All Colombo
    politicians led by Premadasa were responsible for this ugly development of paying
    gratitude to their voters at the cost of nuisance to the general public ! At the time
    people used restaurants , Bus depots , railway stations and a couple of public toilets
    for their calls . Not many people came to Colombo those days from all corners for all
    their needs , life was just quiet and calm everywhere . We don’t have a systematic
    and gradual development plan according to a standard rhythm that must spring out of
    well founded economic growth . Our leaders are JUST borrowing and confused about
    where to spend it so that people see it as a huge development and re- elect them ! I
    have seen so many people dreaming of starting a business even after their sixties !!!!!!!!
    Are we not jokers ? Jokers are not interested in QUALITY OF LIFE that we are talking
    about . So , JOKERS will not elect intelligent leaders ! Jokers deserve the leaders they
    elect and nobody else will put them above their need . One truth that most of us fail to
    take into account when talking about the quality of life in Sriparadise is that nearly two
    million people living outside the country have witnessed some basic quality of life that
    is not available back home . And they think that they too must have those comforts back
    home ! Those two millions bring their experience and share it with another three
    millions at least . That ‘s now become viral ! And all are crying foul for a better abode but
    doing nothing to achieve it .

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