Sri Lankan photographer Devaka Seneviratne has some of the best photos on the web on the recently concluded night races held in Colombo for the first time. While Facades of Development: Of Commonwealth Games and Drag Racing at Green Path by Darini Rajasingham Senanayake is a critical take on events like this, it appears that going by the numbers present and the media coverage of it, this was a rather popular and well-attended event.

As one blogger recently put it “Both events [referring to the Electric Peacock Festival] are young people getting permits and stuff through the President’s sons, which is actually fine by me”. Such a wonderful, uncritical and simple model for post-war Sri Lanka’s democratic governance and equitable development. While we think this can and must be contested, the photos of the night races by Devaka give a sense of what to expect on the streets of Sri Lanka’s capital city in the years to come, and indeed, the country writ large. Don’t stop the party indeed!

See Devaka’s complete public album on Facebook here.

  • “Limit your spending to needs, not luxuries disguised as needs.Necessities contribute to life: luxuries can choke.”-quote.

  • Gamarala

    What is the underlying rationale for these races? To allow wealthier young people to have fun? To promote tourism? Is it effective? Is it harmless?

    If it’s effective at generating actual foreign income, I suppose one might overlook it on the grounds of “daring new ways to attract tourists”. If it affects the public at large minimally, and people are having fun, I suppose it’s ok (in the same way that a carnival is ok). If neither, why on earth don’t they move it to a private race track and leave the rest of the public in peace?