Letter: Be prepared to be ripped off

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The Independent Online
I read with interest Richard Paris's article on Sri Lanka (27 April) which records "the relentless harassment and manipulation of visitors for money". Having just returned from a month's holiday there I can confirm that the situa- tion is every bit as bad as he describes.

Flagrant, persistent, systematic and ubiquitous dishonesty is the norm. Cheating foreigners seems to be regarded as a birthright by many. When confronted the cheats become petulant or abusive, occasionally apoplectic.

I have travelled widely since the early Sixties, including to such destinations as India and Egypt. I have never encountered anything comparable with what goes on in Sri Lanka. I spoke to travellers who were close to tears or on the verge of nervous breakdowns. All vowed never to return. I very much doubt if I shall.

P Dunsmore

London W11