Many of them are Indians. This is due to the geographic proximity. They arrive by DIY boats; the army catches them, and sends them to the Immigration.
The Immigration puts them to prison.
There are also Pakistanis. I hope they and Indians become good friends while in jail.
Then we have Nigerians. They come here to sell drugs and print American dollars.
One interesting detail about this nationality is that the amount of Nigerian girls in detention in Sri Lanka is almost the same as the amount of Nigerian guys. For other countries, this ratio is skewed greatly towards the male side.
There’s no dearth of unfortunates from Western countries. Some came here for drugs, other for girls or for gambling. In pursuing their indulgences they forgot to extend their visas, and ended up behind the bars.
But most Westerners (especially from Germany and Austria) find themselves in jail for the following reason. They come here to study Buddhism. Then engage in all kinds of meditation, but go a little bit too far in this direction.
When the police catches them and asks why they overstayed their visas, many of them reply something like: ‘I was in meditation and completely lost the sense of time’.
Right now, there is one guy from New Zealand. He is kept here until he provides enough money for the air ticket to New Zealand. He overstayed his visa for two months, and is addicted to drugs.
There is no New Zealand Embassy in Sri Lanka, so all the deportation formalities are being done through the NZ Embassy in Hong Kong which inevitably adds some more fun into his situation.
Sri Lanka is a nice place. A kind of paradise. Come and enjoy it. Only, please, don’t be stupid.
Keep away from drugs, girls and gambling. Don’t meditate too hard, and don’t forget the expiry date of your visa.
However, if you have been in a Sri Lankan prison, could you please describe your experience in your blog and give me the link. I want to hear your story.