Came across a couple of rather interesting reports, one from Jamaica and the other from Zambia.
Drug gangs in Jamaica are entangled with politicians to an extent that is shocking. It was this story and this that prompted the comparison with Jamaica.
Jamaica acts as a transit hub for drugs to the US. Although there are no firm numbers, the US is likely to be one of the biggest and therefore most profitable drug markets.
This means the money made and consequently the influence wielded by the drug barons is enormous. Unfortunately, the rest of Jamaica's economy is small and weak, which tends to magnify their influence still further.
Because Sri Lanka's drug market is small and its economy more advanced, the drugs barons are never going to be as big as in Jamaica, but the parallels are worrying, nevertheless.
On a lighter note, Zambia's opposition leader voiced concern over growing Chinese influence in his country “We want the Chinese to leave and the old colonial rulers to return,” said the populist Michael Sata. “They exploited our natural resources too, but at least they took good care of us. They built schools, taught us their language and brought us the British civilisation…at least Western capitalism has a human face; the Chinese are only out to exploit us.”