PM makes revelations about a “mansion” in Arugam Bay

…….“Sri lanka’s best beach is in Arugam Bay” ……
Addressing a public meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe revealed facts about a mansion that was being built in Arugam Bay.

Google Earth View of the Peanut Farm Hotel project, Panama - AbaY

Google Earth View of the Peanut Farm Hotel project, Panama – AbaY

The meeting was held in the Uluwitige area in Galle.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe speaking at the meeting expressed these views,

”Recently I located a palace. It is bigger than the Buckingham palace. This was found in Arugam Bay. This palace also has a name. It is called the International Coordinating Headquarters. What we have found here are chalets, in other words holiday bungalows. There were 57 chalets. They were VIP chalets with pools. There are three pools. This is in the sea and it is 100 feet long. Sri lanka’s best beach is in Arugam Bay. There are pools here. What is the purpose of this. Can international coordination be done from Arugam Bay? For whom are these built? Now we have put a halt to it. They have already built 15. Only walls have been put up and we have stopped further work. The Parliament has not given approval for this. Money from the Presidential Secretariat has been given for this. All financial regulations have been violated. Who paid for these? When these expenses were stopped, we could lower the fuel prices.”

Minister of Mass media and Parliamentary affairs Gayantha Karunathilake too expressed views at the meeting.

”They filled their pockets with commissions from road construction. This government will initiate a new beginning where everything will be done in a transparent way. All this would be done within the one hundred day programme.”

http://newsfirst.lk/english/2015/02/pm-makes-revelations-mansion-arugam-bay/78216

Adopt an AbaY dog

Originally published 10/01/2010 (5 years ago)
But this issue is now even more urgent.

At remote Arugam Bay, a few hundred homeless dogs are waiting to be adopted by caring animal lovers. Please help to save them.

Adopt an Arugam Bay dog !

A sponsor has already been found to provided a suitable, safe  vehicle.
To take them to Colombo or elsewhere on the island.
All animals will be collected, fed, treated and transported with the outmost care & respect
All the Community needs is an address to deliver them to.
Please, animal Lovers:
Please do come forward and let us know where to send them to.
Before even more are run over by speeding and careless drivers on our new fast roads!
The Social Networks are buzzing.
With appeals and online petitions to stop a rumored animal cull.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-the-sri-lankan-government-from-killing-millions-of-stray-dogs/
We support this initiative!
But. What to do?
At Arugam Bay four costly  sterilization programs have been carried out, since the 2004 Tsunami.
In our  remote Bay residents and visitors are unsure if any success can be reported.
Many people are simply too scared to walk on the beach or indeed the road, specially at night. Due to large packs of hungry dogs around.
Below is a copy of one of the stories we covered 5 years ago.
The writer of this article has personally observed that one  particular, disabled bitch alone has had a litter every year since and produced 60 or so pups, most of which appear to be unwell or/and  mentally unstable …..
Something has to be done – This situation is out of control.

The article below was first published 6th Marc, 2007:
The Tsunami Animal People Alliance (TAPA) has, in the true sense of the word: emBarked on a dog sterilization program at Arugam Bay.
Operation Theater
Vets at work @ SVH
In total 300 – 400 dogs are being treated locally.
Arugam.info is informed that about 10,000 have been spayed island wide already.
It is said to be the best and most humane method of controlling stray and infected animals.
The visiting, all Sri Lankan team consists of 4 qualified vets and 7 assistants, a van, and a mobile clinic.
Arugam.info is informed that a budget of 18$/dog has been secured by foreign donors, most of which (10$) will be used for quality drugs and medicines.
Take a look at the work in the attached photo album. Continue reading ‘Adopt an AbaY dog’

Lessons Learned?

Arugam Bay.
Pushed from pillar to post
And largely left on it’s own.
10 years ago.

All beach front dwellings were destroyed. Waves up to 17 meter high

All beach front dwellings were destroyed. Waves up to 17 meter high

Sri Lanka, the tsunami and the evolution of disaster response

COLOMBO, 24 December 2014 (IRIN) – On the morning of 26 December 2004, Mohideen Ajeemal, a fish distributor from Sainathimaruthu, a village on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast, hurriedly climbed a coconut tree to escape rapidly rising seawater. As he did so he saw his young daughter and son struggling to save themselves. “I found both bodies later that afternoon. My son’s body was swept away about a mile, my daughter’s had got stuck in a fence,” he said.

A decade later, the 45-year-old said he finally feels safer next to the sea.

“Now I check the weather regularly, I have SMS alerts on my phone that warn me of possible dangers,” he said. On 15 November 2014 when a 7.3 magnitude earthquake was reported 150km northeast of the Indonesian island of Maluku, an SMS alerted Ajeemal that there was no danger to Sri Lanka. Continue reading ‘Lessons Learned?’

Healing waters

BeitragVerfasst am: 06.08.2005 08:23    Titel:

Surfen in Arugam
Antworten mit Zitat

‘Healing watersCarolyn Fry finds that surfing is helping one Sri Lankan resort to get back on its feet after the tsunami

Tuesday August 2, 2005

Alan Stokes takes on the surf at Arugam Bay. Photograph: Carolyn Fry

On a sweeping stretch of cinnamon sand, a crowd turned its eyes to the rolling ocean surf. Local families, holiday-makers and a throng of photographers, film-makers and journalists were gathering to see the 2005 Champion of Champions surf contest in Arugam Bay, south-east Sri Lanka.
As a new day’s sun burned the sand through the fronds of coconut palms, surfers launched themselves into the water to ride the swell in a ballet of curving turns, speeding glides and twists of spray. The Boxing Day tsunami ripped through this sleepy beachside village, but the Indian Ocean’s barrelling waves are helping the community get back on its feet.

The legendary ‘right-handers’ of Arugam Bay have long attracted travelling wave-riders. During the country’s 20-year civil war, a dedicated group of Australian surfers regularly risked being bombed, or shot in cross-fire during violent battles between Tamil Tigers and the army. With the end of the conflict in 2002, more adventurers started to make the 10-hour journey along narrow, pitted roads to the famed beach.

Last year, when the British Professional Surfing Association (BPSA) held the first ever Champions surfing competition in the area it seemed things were finally looking up for this dusty, laid-back cluster of low-rise hotels, palm-roofed cabanas and fishermen’s shacks.

A message posted on the Siam View Hotel’s website at Christmas said: “The 2004 season has been the best the bay has ever seen. Nothing – not even another civil war – can stop the bay’s progress now.”

Hours later, the first of eight waves struck, sucking a metre of sand from the base of palms on Arugam Point, plucking cabanas and their inhabitants from the sand and smashing a thickening cargo of debris through the windows of the buses on the main street.

Simon, owner of the unfortunately named Tsunami Hotel, was managing the Siam View that night. He awoke to find himself underwater with his leg trapped. After breaking his ankle to free himself he was swept through several dwellings by the murky, diesel-tainted current before managing to grasp hold of some building blocks. This stopped Simon being swept out to sea as the water receded back to the horizon. Today, his faded superman tattoo has been supplemented by a fresh turquoise inking of a tsunami, along with the date he survived against all odds.

Following the tsunami, the organisers of the surfing contest were in two minds as to whether it should go ahead this year. A third of Arugam Bay’s 3,000 inhabitants had been killed in the disaster, money pledged by charities was slow in reaching the village and the bridge carrying the main road into Arugam Bay had been breached by the waves, cutting the community off for a short period.

However, when the bridge reopened in April the organisers decided the competition should take place. They felt that bringing 100 people into the village would serve as an impetus to get hotels rebuilt as soon as possible as well as injecting much-needed cash into the local economy.

“Everyone worked very, very hard to put it in place,” said Ralph Pereira, managing director of Travel and Tours Anywhere, which developed the contest in conjunction with Sri Lankan Airlines and the BPSA. “We didn’t know for sure that it would go ahead or whether there would be sufficient hotel rooms until six weeks beforehand.”

Guesthouse owners had certainly been hurrying to rebuild and reopen rooms damaged by the tsunami. At Hideaway Guesthouse, where I was staying, the front part of the garden was still a building site. But the main building, with its colonial tea plantation feel was homely and clean, with plump pink and orange cushions brightening rattan chairs.

Before the tsunami, surfing had been a mainstay of the tourism economy right around Sri Lanka’s southern coastline. The island’s south-west has the best waves from November to April, the south-east from May to September.

When Arugam Bay’s right-handers tailed off with the onset of the monsoon, surfers simply headed west to Hikkaduwa, where plentiful hotels and beach villas stood among lush gardens of banana and bourganvillia.

Recreating this surfers’ paradise in the wake of the tsunami has not been easy; with compensation payments from the government yet to materialise, most tourism enterprises have had to rely on their own funds to rebuild their businesses.

“We lost all our watersports equipment,” explained Thilak Weerasinghe, managing director of Lanka Sportreizen. “I didn’t get a cent, but luckily we had built up the business and can afford to rebuild.”

The Travel Foundation and Association of Independent Tour Operators (Aito) are working with the Sri Lankan government, local communities and environmental groups to help people affected by the tsunami regain their livelihoods by developing responsible tourism initiatives.

A number of projects have been earmarked for assistance, including a plan to create a sustainable fishing village. Visitors will see fish being brought to shore and sold, enabling fishermen to benefit from tourism while maintaining their traditional role in society.

Another scheme aims to revegetate land affected by the tsunami, using native plant species. This will include research into using mangroves for coastal protection. Funding for the projects will come from money already pledged by Aito members and donations from customers.

Back in Arugam Bay, there are plans to use money raised by the UK surfing fraternity to build a community surf foundation. Tsunami Surf Relief UK (TSRUK) has so far raised £30,000 through charity auctions and events and has allocated a third of this to building a new surf centre. As well as being a focal point where local surfers can meet, the foundation will help generate cash by offering board hire and surfing lessons to visiting tourists.

“We felt the community would benefit from having a centre offering surf-board hire and perhaps swimming lessons and life-guarding,” explained Phil Williams, national director of Christian Surfers UK and a trustee of TSRUK. “The break at Arugam Point is world famous for its waves and surfers from around the world go specifically to that area. In the three or four years after the ceasefire and before the tsunami, more and more surfers were coming to A-Bay; it was a much more prosperous place than before they came.”

As the surfing contest hotted up there was something of a party atmosphere on the beach. Dozens of coloured flags rippled in the tropical wind along the path to Arugam Point where glassy turquoise waves curled invitingly around the reef.

Judges assessed surfers on their turns, style and risk-taking, while waiting competitors nervously flexed their muscles, waxed their boards and contemplated their chances of winning the £2,000 prize money.

For the Sri Lankan surfers, many of whom lost friends and family in the tsunami, preparing for the contest helped them overcome their fear of the ocean. As each entered the water, the 100 or so villagers seated beneath the palm trees lining the shore cheered and whistled their support.

“The contest has been hugely important for morale after the tsunami,” said Phil Williams. “It’s sent out the message that, while Arugam Bay isn’t quite yet open for business as usual, it’s back on the tourist trail.”

Way to go

Getting there: Sri Lankan Airlines (020-8538 2001

), offers 11 flights a week from Heathrow to Colombo. Fares start at £450 return plus taxesWhere to stay: Travel and Tours Anywhere Ltd (0208 8136622) offers surfing holidays to Arugam Bay and Hikkaduwa. A 15-day holiday to Arugam Bay including flights, transfers and B&B accommodation in a guest house costs from £699pp. 14 days in Hikkaduwa costs from £599pp. Hire of boards and surfing lessons can be arranged

When to go: The waves at Arugam Bay are best between May and September during the dry season. During the off-season, Sri Lanka’s main surf spot on the south-west coast, Hikkaduwa, has good waves

Further information: Sri Lanka Tourist Board (020-7930 2627), arugambay.com’

http://travel.guardian.co.uk/c…..60,00.html

Continue reading ‘Healing waters’

Always in Season: Arugam Bay

Unless you are a surfer:
NOW is the BEST time to visit sunny Arugam Bay!
Brilliant weather
Mild & Sunny
Calm, Clear sea
Great Wild Life
Amazing Historical Places
Plenty of vacant rooms
Who says: It’s ‘Low’Season in the Bay of Arugam ?

The Island

Arugam Bay. And the progress.

"The Island" article

Environmentalists, nature lovers and some holidaymakers are up in arms against the rapid haphazard development taking place in Arugam Bay which is one of the most sought after and un-spoilt tourist resorts in Sri Lanka.

Michelle Mitchel of Sydney, Australia, born to Sri Lankan parents, expressed her displeasure at the adhoc and rapid development taking place in the area and added if the government allowed the trend to continue, very soon the country would see that the steady flow of tourists to the resort would reduce drastically.

Michelle Mitchel of Sydney

Mitchelle in an interview with “The Traveller” after holidaying in Arugam Bay said that the tourism authorities and other stakeholders should make every effort to protect the area and ensure that there was no overdevelopment in the resort.

Arugam Bay with its pristine and un-spoilt beaches, the laid back and rustic atmosphere had attracted thousands of holidaymakers to the country. Another reason why it has become popular all over the world as a destination among tourists is because Pottuvil Point is one of the best surfing areas in the world. Pottuvil Point has attracted large number of surfers from different parts of the world and it is a gold mine for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry which should be protected at any cost,” she said.

Building of high-rises and similar construction , overdevelopment and overcrowding would definitely ruin  the  character of the area  and it would become just another tourist resort  with a concrete jungle  which would eventually result in holidaymakers who loved the ‘paradise’ turning to other exotic destinations in the region or elsewhere and this could be a dangerous precedent, Mitchelle said. Continue reading ‘The Island’

Tourism Day

Saturday, 27th September, 2014

There will be a Celebration at the Pacific Hotel, Arugam Bay

27/09/2014

27/09/2014

Nostalgia at AbaY

Nostalgia at AbaY

Coming from the re-vamped modern City of Colombo to Arugam Bay is like a trip into the past.
Escape the progress!

Millions spent on uplifts

Millions spent on uplifts

However. Once you reach the poor East Coast and the Bay of Arugam. You will find:
Daily. And often All Weekend Powercuts.

Daily Power Cuts

Daily Power Cuts

So What?
It’s a perfect setting. For a romantic candle lit dinner by the beach. Under the clear star-studded sky.

A trip back to last century

A trip back to last century

Water supply cut off every day?

USAIDS Water supply

USAIDS Water supply

No problem!
Cool down and have an inviting ‘sea bath’ in the clear, blue ocean in front.

Plenty of clear water available

Plenty of clear water available

No street lights

No street lights

No Street lights? Even on the brand new USAID 14 Mill. $$$ bridge?
Mind your way – avoid the open drains

All drains are open

All drains are open

Internet disruptions?

Unstable Internet at AbaY

Unstable Internet at AbaY

A perfect opportunity to talk to fellow travelers!

Most places have Free Wifi in the Bay. But often the connections are poor

Most places have Free Wifi in the Bay. But often the connections are poor

Luxury Bus Service not coming?

Usually 20:30 departs

Usually 20:30 departs

Ideal! To remain in the dark ages.
At Arugam Bay. After all, this is our island’s most promising, Government declared, tourist Resort!

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A Royal Visit

*********************************************

A Royal Visit

The Royal Enfield Club of Sri Lanka
Had a brief stop – over at Arugam Bay
This Sunday lunchtime.
On their way back to Colombo from Batticaloa.

Two British Icons

Two British Icons

SAM_2646

SAM_2648

SAM_2649

SAM_2652

SAM_2653

SAM_2655

SAM_2656

SAM_2661

SAM_2663

SAM_2665

SAM_2668

SAM_2670

SAM_2674

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HOME AWAY FROM HOME

As with most Asian countries, it’s not necessary to book accommodation, or anything else, in advance when visiting Sri Lanka. However, I knew that I’d be arriving into Arugam Bay in the middle of peak season aka surf season and so I emailed a couple of places to see whether they had any room. Most replied saying that they were full, with the exception of the Siam view hotel, whose reply was, well, intriguing:

No problem, dear Tom-Tom.
Just make your way.
(“But “Don’t mention the War” ;-)
Drop in.
And all will fall into it’s place.

No worries.

Arugam bay, and this hostel both sounded like my kind of places, and they haven’t disappointed. The town itself is a small, relaxed, hippy surf town, pretty much a Sri Lankan Byron bay. Except that it’s much cheaper – a coconut costs less than 50 cents – is less busy, has pumping waves and there aren’t the stupidly strict drinking rules that exist in my usual hippy paradise. So far so good, then I got to the hostel.

AbaY Beach in front of the YMCA

AbaY Beach in front of the YMCA

The YMCA is right in the centre of town, and it is the first hostel I’ve come across in Sri Lanka, the first time that I’ve had air-conditioning, and the cheapest accommodation I’ve found. I wandered into the only dorm room, and I wandered into a new family. The floor was covered in sand (sorry Fred), a mouse ate through my iPhone case and 500 rupees, the power is intermittent, and I used a towel as a bedsheet for a week, but the YMCA is everything a hostel should be.

YMCArugam's Road front

YMCArugam’s Road front

It’s full of fascinating and fun people, inspiring quotes cover the walls, and the relaxed approach of the owners makes for an incredibly welcoming atmosphere. The guys running it didn’t even know that I was staying for the first 4 days, and I’ve now been here 7 days and I still haven’t paid for one yet, a perfect environment for someone that hasn’t had a house key for over a year.

YMCA Philosophy

YMCA Philosophy

Little Derek (great name for a baby!) runs around the hostel naked, there’s a brightly painted VW camper can parked in the garden, and the locals chat to you while you’re using the outdoor showers, with butterflies swooping overhead.

The owners, of various hippy and traveller backgrounds, even offer the rooms for free on couchsurfing.com if they’re not occupied by paying guests. When I asked one of the owners why they’re so relaxed, the response was a fairly obvious one: when you’ve lived through a tsunami, nothing else seems worth worrying about.

Sadly. They left

Sadly. They left

If I ever do own my own hostel, I want the atmosphere to be based on this one. I won’t make any money, like the guys here don’t, but I’ll have a great time with great people and that’s what really matters to me. Unfortunately, however, all good things must come to an end, and most of our family have gone their separate ways, despite staying for far longer than planned, and I will leave tomorrow too. Fortunately, that’s because I have to catch my flight to the Maldives for some more sun, sea and surf, life is tough right now!

Message Wall

Message Wall

source / original post:

http://travellivedream.com/2014/08/11/home-away-from-home-away-from-home/

Transfers to/ from the Bay

Quick.
Safe
Good Transfers.
Airport(s) to AbaY:

Happy Passengers !

Look. Book. Here:
http://www.arugam.info/abay-taxi-initiative/

South seeks revenge at Red Bull Ride My Wave – second leg

After being shown up on home waters, the best surfers from Sri Lanka’s South Coast are out to settle the score against their Eastern counterparts in the second and final leg of Red Bull Ride My Wave, which gets under way at three popular surf spots in Arugam Bay
from the 8th to the 10th of August.

8th, 9th and 10th August

With an excellent mixture of swell, wind, tide and sunny skies, the South Coast finished with 142.3 points after the opening skirmishes on their territory earlier in the year, well below the East’s final tally of 164.8 points. This means they have no option but to go for broke with their best tricks from double barrels to cut backs and sprays. Whilst, the East team which ruled the first leg of Red Bull Ride My Wave held in March, will seek a repeat of their previous dominance in order to complete their surf supremacy over the South team. All this sets the scene for an electric display of surfing. Continue reading ‘South seeks revenge at Red Bull Ride My Wave – second leg’

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Arugam Bay Taxi Initiative News

Satisfied Passengers
Have made their decision!
The Arugam Bay Taxi Initiative’s
Trusted Taxi Sub-Contractors have set new,
HIGH standards:

Satisfied Passenger Comments


Above is just a small selection of nice feed-back from our passengers and guests.

This is in answer to unprofessional so-called local “Drivers”:

The  helpful “Taxi” Mafia of Arugam Bay
Has vandalized the innovative , popular
Taxi Sharing Board.
We should name & shame those guys.

Someone is spoiling it. For everyone.

Visitors: The Choice is Yours !
How you will travel and
Whom you give your business to.
In future.
Remember. That We don’t get one single Rupee out of this Initiative.
It is in your own interest – and everyone else’s. In the Bay.
In the long run it will be good for everyone.
Sadly, some guys don’t yet realise that. As Yet.

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2014 Bridge-to-Bridge walk

Every year. Around the 1st July. Our local reporter takes his simple camera. And takes a walk. From one end of Arugam Bay to the other. This Walk from Bridge-to-Bridge has become a tradition.

The only 2 bridges to AbaY have changed

It presents a unique insight into AbaY’s Rise & Fall Take a look. Compare. We just publish a few of our older photo walks here. Others are already online. Older ones are still only on paper.

Here is the 2014 update:

https://plus.google.com/photos/101968069429174151738/ albums/ 6031103895977137009

Here is a link to 2010:

https://plus.google.com/photos/101968069429174151738/ albums/ 6031368911009405969

Here is an older link to 2006:

https://plus.google.com/photos/101968069429174151738/ albums/ 6030971341259036577

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Arugam. Asia’s Super Safe Resort

Arugam Bay is unique.

The ultra Safe Beach Resort: Arugam Bay

Arugam is like a tiny island on it’s own.
Just one single road leads into the hamlet. Via a long bridge.
The next bigger towns like Monaragala or Ampara are hours away.
And the approach road is through a dense jungle.
With no houses in between.
The crime rate in the Bay is perhaps the lowest globally:
Everybody knows everyone here.
There are no racial tensions here, either.
Apart from the normal commercial rivalry all groups are basically happy with each other.

This makes Arugam Bay a VERY, VERY safe resort.
Even the long, island wide Civil war never affected AbaY.
There never was a war here !

The climate is also truly amazing:
330 days sunshine/ year !

Arugam on Facebook

More & More Establishments in Arugam Bay

"Arugam Surf" - Sri Lanka's 1st ever FB page

Have now joined Facebook and New Pages coming up every day.
As every year, in July, arugam.info will review this page, and all new links will be added.
Also, of course, the traditional photo walk
“From Bridge -to- Bridge”
Will be published, Showing all visible signs and places

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