Monday, May 23, 2011

Bureaucracy Can Kill

I needed to hand in a document to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka today. The same one that got ferociously bombed and attacked 15 or so years ago, maiming and killing many civilians in what used to be the heart of the business district.

Having been through the silly security rigmarole previously for a meeting there, I thought I'd go straight to the off-site car park (sitting on prime real estate in the heart of the Fort), walk over and hand over the document.

The guard at the car park would have none of it. I first needed to go to the Central Bank's main gate (put in place after the terrorists drove right up 15 years ago), announce my intentions, and then be directed back to the car park I was currently sitting outside.

So I drove up to the terrorist-proof main entrance, nonchalantly left open. I stopped my Hilux, which could've been packed with about 300Kg of high explosives, at the gate (when any petty politician or terrorist could've just charged through), right by the guard room, and explained myself. I needed to go to the Mail Room, I was told. Where to park? Oh, just leave the vehicle right there at the gate, just move it so I wouldn't obstruct the entrance.

So I walked in, handed over the document, walked back out and went off home. I tooted my horn in farewell at the guard at the offsite car park, but he seemed to be busy with his newspaper in the depths of his little guard hut.

What was the point of that off-site car park again? And wait, we don't have terrorists in Sri Lanka anymore either, right?

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