The Sunday Times has reported of an increase in sexual assaults on tourists in Sri Lanka.
Last week, the chairman of the Weligama local government body was arrested for sexually harassing a 22-year old Swedish tourist at a resort in the town.
Earlier this month two police officers were arrested for sexually assaulting a German tourist, who was dragged into a rickshaw by the constables. In another case an Australian University student was allegedly raped by a tour guide in Ambalangoda.
Colombo University’s senior lecturer in Sociology, Dr. Harini Amerasooriya said to the Sunday Times that there is a general lack of law and order, adding that many of the perpetrators had political connections.
“This is an indication of the general lack of law and order in the country. Authorities should ensure the safety of tourists to protect the tourism industry. Unfortunately, at present there is a ‘get-away’ attitude therefore there will be more incidents of this nature in the future. Laws should be strengthened and punishment for crimes against tourists should be severe and the process is expedited,” she said.