Archive for the 'From our own Correspondent' Category

Seriously Now: S.L. is open for Visitors !

We are Happy to report and confirm that the progressive Government has relaxed rules for Tourists and Visitors with immediate effect.
The graph below essentially says it all.

This is for Real and an ideal summer time to visit and surf in glorious Arugam Bay!

“ASQ” in AbaY ! – From 1st. April

2021 High Season, Arugam Bay!

Hello Yellow Again!
“Safe & Secure”


In order to revive the badly damaged tourist industry wise authorities have announced sweeping plans to assist all Tourist Board approved  enterprises.


Just in time for the East Coast Main Season, as from the 1st. April the entire Arugam Bay area has been declared to be a designated Tourist Quarantine Bubble. Also known as ASQ.


Below is a summary of the main innovations and concessions:

  1. Tourists must land at designated Mattala Rajapaksa Airport
    It’s just just 2 hours from AbaY
  2. No stops allowed on route to AbaY
    It’s just just 2 hours from AbaY
  3. The Military will re-establish the Old Bridge Control Point
    a. Between the Muslim town of PottuVille and AbaY
    b. The only way in or out of our remote resort = Safe & Secure!
  4. All passengers will be tested and checked in at this point
    a. PHI – Public Health inspectors from PottuVille will attend
    b. PHI – PS| They done an outstanding, excellent job in this area. Not one single C-19 case here!
    c. If negative: FREE entry to the AbaY region will be granted
  5. Tourists are then welcome to stay in ANY establishment in the Bay
  6. Tourists and surfers can freely move around and socialize at any time
  7. No Masks or Muzzles requirement will be enforced
    = As this realistically can not be monitored in a Surf, Fishing and Farming  Community anyhow
  8. To boost Tourism even further
    a. Liquor Licenses will be issued automatically. Free of charge
    b. Duty free shops will be opened in the Bay itself. Unlimited purchases for foreigners!
    c. Parties and events will be allowed at all times. No permits required
    d. Visas are offered to all suitable and interested  surfers and Visitors until end 2021
    e. Special Seasonal East Coast Beer will be supplied. At discount prices.
    f. To create worldwide attention and act as FREE a global promotion:
    g. The Old CORONA is Out – Caruna Extra  is Inn !
    see link below

    Traditional East Coast Beer

    New Non Lion Beer launched just for Arugam Bay (2010)

PS|
A small technical irritation needs to be resolved.
That is what to do when visitors eventually – if or when after a year or so – they decide to leave glorious Arugam Bay?
Departing back to their homeland, once tested negative (for C-19..;-) presents no issues.
But what to do if they wish to remain in Sri Lanka, or are Nationals of this amazing Nation:
A quarantine period of 14 days in …Colombia might be unavoidable 😉

Paul. Topps it. In AbaY

Russian karaoke singer, a book launch, wine tasting and the tattooed man: The Whinging Pome at the Arugam Bay

Jezzabel and I set off at 8 AM from Colombo and expect a six-hour journey to get to Arugam Bay on the east coast of Sri Lanka but with non-stop driving. I know it won’t be six hours even though Jezzabel has packed enough egg sandwiches for a full day family bus trip.
Our Muslim driver Neaz is not a “speedy Gonzales” but we must thank god it’s not a Friday with prayer stops. We get on the expressway, heading south till it finishes, then take a short dual carriageway, then a fast empty road to our destination, The scenery is changing from arid areas to a green lush landscape with lakes, lagoons, and stunning views. With these changes come the herds of goats, then buffaloes walking in the water, back to herds of thin white cattle that remind me of cows I’ve seen in parts of India. In the middle of nowhere, the road is so straight and the trees are planted at uniform spaces, creating a guard of honour for the passing traveller. It reminds me of France with plantain trees which were said to give assistance to Napoleon’s troops moving in difficult weather conditions. These trees today are thought to be responsible in some way for one in eight road accidents in France.

We are finally in the village of Pottuvil, taking sharp rights and lefts through shanty houses in a strong Muslim area, then to Jetwing Surf, which is ten minutes from the more famous Aragum Bay. You can’t surf in front of this hotel as it’s too rocky and rough, and I ask the manager “so where do I surf?” Looking me up and down with some doubt about my surfing profile he says “a few minutes away.”

Whenever anyone uses the phrase “a few minutes away”, I’m always sceptical. In India, this can mean an hour.

“Is this running, walking or driving?“ I retort.

We don’t get to the recommended beach but in fact, some people rank this area as one of the best surfing locations in Asia during May to September, along with other locations of some fame such as Whiskey Point, Crocodile Rock and Elephant rock.

This is a very modern beach hotel with a funky reception area, a collection of circular chalets, and an open dining area overlooking a curved pool and the sea. The chalets are large and extremely well designed with lots of space, a big bed and a chilled outdoor bathroom.


The criticism we had heard of the hotel prior was that there is no air conditioning. As I pass the back office of the reception I see a mobile aircon unit and it’s not long before it’s in our chalet, with three fixed fans on full blast. My princess, Jezzabel likes a room ice cold when she gets to bed. I generally have to extensively cover myself as its too cold for a white boy from Africa. It’s good that we are all different but our different requirements for bedroom temperature generally results in me having less sleep and constant phlegm. Too much detail you may say, but bedroom temperature disputes amongst couples are more common than you think.

It’s a long weekend in Arugam Bay and likely the last of the season. Those who are here are from Colombo to enjoy the beach and party, or others who have just forgotten to go home. Some belong in the “unwashed” category. The last time I was here was two weeks before the Tsunami in December 2004. I recall staying at the Stardust hotel and canoeing along the river. Sadly the hotel and the town were hit quite hard by the Tsunami, both losing lives. The town is now a thriving tourist location, though given it’s post-COVID, it’s hard to spot many foreign tourists. Those that are here have likely exceeded their visa period and have no desire to go back to their home countries, which are still being hit hard by the COVID phase two.

Jezzabel is off to the “Hideaway”, one of the few larger hotels in the town. She is meeting girlfriends and to listen to their local heart-throb. Actually, Jerome is a Sri Lankan Aussie as is my wife. I’m off to Siam View, an institution here in the town and well known across the island to all who have visited A-Bay, as some call it. Fred, the owner has been in Sri Lanka for over 35 years, gives me a warm greeting. I’ve known him for twenty years. Fred has had a colourful life with a Maltese/ German background but always comes over as a carefree Englishman, with ten or more kids, I’m not sure he knows the exact number. His Thai wife is a really lovely lady who always has a beaming smile and a friendly greeting. His property was hit by the tsunami but Fred bounced back into business very quickly. It is the go-to place, everyone meets there and there is never a dull moment with music, musicians, karaoke etc.


At Fred’s place, I encounter a rather opinionated and overweight Ex British navy chap who says he is a secret squirrel working for the British Government, tracking undesirable Sri Lankan’s who are trying to get into the UK illegally. Exiting from the conversation as quickly as I could without being extremely rude I meet up with some friends.

Amazingly I find a wine I’ve never seen before, a Malbec blended with Pinotage, a great wine for the price. When I get the bill for the wine there is some mix-up, and the barman/waiter seems to have over-charged me. He is so laid back, he is nearly horizontal, and a few sharp words follow. We will meet again tomorrow.

Night two and its the launch of my book on the east side of Sri Lanka, “The Whinging Pome – To The Point.” The venue is Fred’s place, Siam house.
I check if all my wines are here where I left them the night before, in the fridge. They are all there and I explain to the barman how the night will flow and what his role will be. It is 7.30 PM and my guests are meant to all be here. I ask Fred for the list of attendees, and he gives me some 36 names. I ask how many have confirmed, and he tells me none, which he says is typical of the folk in A-Bay. At eight my first attendee arrives. She is a Russian karaoke singer in a short white dress who tells me she sings every night at the place. My second attendee, or so I thought, is a partially clothed white man who tells me his body is tatted from head to toe. Turns out he works part-time at Fred’s place.
Its 8.30 PM and as Fred had promised a crowd has arrived. A bigger issue for me then became the fact that the barman had gone AWOL, turns out he didn’t like my comments from the night before had walked off the job. At 8.30 PM I’m sharing the podium with the Russian whose dress only just covers her boobs, the tatted man whom I think believes he is a rockstar, my book display and a set of drums.

It’s my first book launch/wine tasting where I’m pouring the wine, serving it, and talk at the same time.

The Whinging Pome’s Random Rule No 185: Learn how to multitask. Prove the ladies wrong, men can do it!

Despite the chaos, I sell about 15 books, 5 to the local MP’s son. Not sure if he was sober. If he was then no doubt he would want them for free. A bunch of airline pilots who have just had their employment contract cancelled are hitting the wine. We have now over fifteen nationalities at the event. In between all of this I need to get the next wine out.

The Russian lady in white is bashing out a Russian song. By ten-thirty the numbers have swelled to beyond sixty people. I’ve got a deaf, out of tempo chap on the drums and the Russian lady giving it her all whilst trying to keep everything in her dress. The night continues with more book signings and characters now believing they are at a full Karaoke event grabbing the mike, whilst random people think they are Ginger Baker, the drummer of the bands Cream, Blind Faith, Hawkwind and more.

This I think is a new book launch concept; Books, Ballards, Booze, Boobs.

The next day we have the opportunity to visit the Kumana National Park but I’m keener to enjoy the beach and visit a few temples than visiting a bird sanctuary. It’s also about thirty kilometres from the hotel and my beach is in front of me and my first temple which is dated at 2nd BC is 4 kilometres away. The location is on a very wide beach, and its histhttps://thewhingingpome.online/russian-karaoke-singer-a-book-launch-wine-tasting-and-the-tattooed-man-the-whinging-pome-at-the-arugam-bay/?fbclid=IwAR186xAXgXlyiqA9LwCJa7sixdAk6TsAGNkWxnPX8yP7PgBU6V68oqiG6Egory is linked to Princess Devi being washed up at the location and some monastery being built. This is the third location in Sri Lanka where this same story is set.

Wifey finds some friends who are staying close by in another hotel and they take a Jeep and head to the park. Jokingly on their return, I make a jibe about “how were the birds?”. I’m bombarded with how great their safari was. This included sightings of two different leopards, an elephant charging their Jeep, and lots of other non-bird species.

So it’s another day, another road, and we are heading to Batticaloa. I don’t think this town is ready for The Whinging Pome but actually, after the Arugam Bay experience, anything and everything is possible.

Source:
https://thewhingingpome.online/russian-karaoke-singer-a-book-launch-wine-tasting-and-the-tattooed-man-the-whinging-pome-at-the-arugam-bay/?fbclid=IwAR186xAXgXlyiqA9LwCJa7sixdAk6TsAGNkWxnPX8yP7PgBU6V68oqiG6Eg

Air Force bombs Lahugala. With MAS seed

 

Sri Lanka Air Force said it had seed-bombed a 60 acre area in Lahugala in a reforestation bid in the fourth such operation conducted so far with material supplied by MAS Holdings, an apparel group.

The mission was organized by the Command Agro Unit at SLAF Base Katunayake under Air Commodore Suharshi Fernando with the Forest Conservation Department and the University of Peradeniya.

The mission is part of efforts to boost Sri Lanka’s forest cover from 27 percent to 32 percent by 2030.

The seed bombs were dropped today from a Mil Mi-17 piloted by Wing Commander Venu Silva Flying Officer Lahiru Chandrasekara.

Over 70,000 ‘seed bombs’ from dry zone species of Ehela (Cassia fistula), Mee (Madhuca longifolia), Karanda (Pongamia pinnata), Mailla (Vitex altissima), Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna), Koan (Schleichera oleosa) and Madatiya (Adenanthera pavonina) were dropped.

“MAS Holdings contributed to this project by providing seeds which were used to fabricate seed bombs,” SLAF said.

The first bombing mission over Ranorawa Government Forest had been conducted in 2018 as a pilot project over a five acres with 5,000 seed bombs.

In 2019, another 67,000 seed bombs were dropped over a 60 acre area in the Lahugala forest in Ampara

In December 2020 30,000 seed bombs were dropped over a 5 acres land area also in Lahugala National Park.

The SLAF said its Command Agro Unit is gathering data to monitor how seed bombs have germinated and are growing in changing environmental conditions. (Colombo/Jan15/2021)
Source:
https://economynext.com/sri-lanka-air-force-bombs-lahugala-with-mas-seed-77867/

Winter: The Best Season in AbaY !

Arugam Bay is known for the Best Surf on this island.
True.
But little is known that as from November our Wild Life is even more awesome to admire.
KUMANA of course is famous for migrant birds.
But did you know that even from the Arugam Bay Bridge – walking distance from any hotel -:
You can admire Wild Elephants?

Truly Wild Elephants all around AbaY

Un

View from the AbaY Bridge

like Pinnawala or Udawalawe and other Parks it comes 100% FREE.
Free in Nature, Free animals, Free as NO entrance Charges!”
Name one other destination being as blessed as remote Arugam Bay!

Weekly Int. DJ Competitions @ AbaY

AGAIN!
Regular Event/weekly:
Friday, 14th August 2020 –
At the Old Siam View Hotel, Arugam Bay

Awesome DJ Event at the Old Siam View

Demonstrate Your Music Styles and Skills.
On the Best Sound Systems and most modern Decks
Best DJ will be Judged by a panel and Rewarded.

FREE to attend – as always.
Plus:
Awesome Bar Deals – and Food Stalls, too
Hopper Stand
Hang Loose Pizza
Authentic Thai Food
Authentic Pakistani Biryani
Perera’s Local Delicacies!

New! Party and Event Calendar Group

We are Happy to inform you.

That the mellow, our very own peaceful Party and Event Life is continuing in and around Arugam Bay.

 

OPen – Liberal – Music nights for everyone to perform @ for example The Old Siam View

To make it easier, and to coordinate events.
And to allow our guests to plan accordingly, we created a new Group.
It’s on What’s Up of course, as we move away from Web Sites and even Facebook
To join us and receive  Daily Updates.
Just click the link below

AbaY Events, Parties etc.

New & Updated Social Media Links

The East Coast is moving into
“High Season”
(April to November):
There are a some very useful Groups on Social Media.
Below are a few links:

AbaY Tourist Self Help Group
Arugam Surf on Facebook
Living in the AbaY area
Siam View Projects
Siam View Hotel
Old Arugam (Historical page)
Surf Point Luxury Apartments (& perfect Retirement Homes)
AbaY Restaurants and Delivery Services

And, finally, also an online Petition.
To resist a huge land fraud attempt in the Bay.
Please support us! We are very concerned:

AbaY Anti- Land Fraud Conspiracy Petition

Thank you All!
And we hope to see you in the glorious, ultra safe Bay of Arugam Soon!

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

Arugam Bay Surf Club News

 

Challenging the status-quo and empowering women in her community

March, 27, 2020

We all have the power to change things. We’re all responsible for building a more just and equitable world and in 2020 challenging the stereotypes and being #EachforEqual is what International Women’s Day reminds us. Here’s a story of someone breaking barriers, changing perceptions, and transforming lives.

Women account for the majority of the global tourism workforce but tend to work in low-paying, informal and low-status positions. But Lathika Lakmali is an impressive woman who challenges the status-quo – while defying cultural boundaries and social norms – to lead and make a name for herself as a Surf Instructor and harnessing tourism as a tool for empowering women in her community.

Traditionally, especially in conservative localities such as Arugambay, women are expected to assume the role of a daughter, sister, wife, mother and care giver. Although Arugambay continues to grow as one of the popular surfing hubs in the East of Sri Lanka, there exist many misguided perceptions with regard to surfing and the tourism industry as a whole. Villagers hold the stereotypical impression that surfers are skimpily clad and party hard brining disrespect to traditional values. It was acceptable for tourists to indulge in the sport, but it definitely didn’t fit with the communities beliefs on what a career was supposed to be and definitely didn’t fit with the role of a woman who are most traditionally limited to the activities in the domestic sphere.

However, Lakmali and her husband who’s the President of the Arugambay Surf Club and one of the 28 ISA certified coaches in Arugambay recognize the opportunities for growth in the industry. And what began as a hobby displayed a possibility of turning into a career, especially with the increase in solo female travelers or women being more comfortable learning how to surf from other women. They believe that they can find a balance with their personal life, the professional life and their interest in surfing in Arugambay. They realized how women were often uncomfortable taking lessons from male instructors. Yet, offering services without a formal license to international travelers remained a concern as tourists want to be sure they will be safe in the water and be able to really learn how to surf a wave from an expert.

A pathway for informal surfers to be formally recognized by the industry with S4IG support

To address this concern, the Skills for Inclusive Growth (S4IG) program funded by the Australian Government’s Aid program in partnership with the Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations extended support towards managing visitor expectations by offering tailored programs to strengthen local Surf Clubs to manage and improve their service standards.

It allowed Lakmali to confidently march on and be recognized as an instructor doing something she loves. She can still support her family and support her community and earn an income from her business – surfing. Such initiatives by S4IG encourage more women to enter the tourism industry, seek income opportunities and mentor the next generation of female leaders. It also created a pathway for informal surfers to become internationally recognized, and for more women in the area to consider not only pursuing surfing as a career but to simply be brave enough to indulge in the joy of surfing. Since her participation in the program by S4IG and licensing as an instructor, the Arugambay Surf Club has seen an increase in membership and interest by girls. Tourism gives women many opportunities that allow a blending of roles and responsibilities. Enabling women to engage in paid employment in many different ways and pursue the things they enjoy.

Inspiring generations of surfer girls 

For Lakmali, surfing has now become a family affair. She often takes her daughter – aged 6- with her when she surfs and her husband who is also an ardent surf lover and an S4IG participant as well. He is extremely proud of his wife pursuing her passion and celebrates her success – a truly modern Sri Lankan family. She proves that women can offer something new and exciting to a traditionally male-dominated industry and experience.

She has inspired an entire generation of girls who dream of riding waves of their own one day in the future in surfing and other pursuits. Lakmali aims to extend personalized and deeper travel experiences via female surf lessons that showcase the potential for a career professionally. She is a fine example that women are more than capable of building a new business ecosystem around women in tourism while defying cultural norms and the traditional labour market.

Along with her supportive husband, she plays a strong role in mentoring the next generation of females, like her own daughter, and in the process, is actually changing the face of tourism in Arugambay for the better.

source:
http://bizenglish.adaderana.lk/challenging-the-status-quo-and-empowering-women-in-her-community/

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VISIT Now – For a Safe Holiday

This article is intended to inform concerned travelers of the risks involved to visit Sri Lanka.
And in particular travel to remote Arugam Bay (and, for example Kalpitiya).

Whilst there is nothing ever 100% risk free: 
The conclusion is that an island Nation, with just one single point of entry (Colombo Airport) is as safe as it can possibly be.
Furthermore, Sri Lanka now is a very secure island, and all authorities are working together very well, since the Easter outrage last year.
There is tight control everywhere, and all arrivals are checked properly.
The Health System, which struggled, but managed and coped well in a long civil war, the 2004 Tsunami and and many emergencies manages very well. They are equipped and trained much better that most other Nations. Plus it’s a true FREE National Health Service!
In addition, very remote destinations such as our Arugam Bay are far away from any other towns, 50km from any Industry, and again:
Arugam Bay is like another island, on an island.
Why?
Because once you reached the Bay through thick Jungles there is only one single road, via a long bridge in and out of the resort:
Arugam Bay is a true Dead End (i.e. Cul de Sac if “Dead End” sounds ill placed here 😉
There is NO passing – through – traffic at all.
For that reason there perhaps is no known Malaria, No Dengue and No Rabies in the Bay itself . Unique!
Just like the endless sunshine with 340 days/ year.
Further: With average temperatures around 30C:
It seems that the new Virus does not survive well
(As in colder climates; like influenza)

Obviously this is intended to promote Arugam Bay.
And would LOVE to attract you to come to us.
Summers are our High Season.
Our main visitors are from Israel, Australia, South Africa.
We hardly see Chinese or Russian Tourists  = maybe because those Nations are not known good Surfers?
This fact is perhaps fortunate for us…at this time…
Truthfully we really believe that if anyone wishes to travel, and be as safe and secure abroad:
Here highly recommend to you Arugam Bay (and Sri Lanka itself)
One of very Few minimised risk destinations you should look at.

Unique, Safe, Secure and with little of NO risk to catch this new infection.

Arugam Bay: New Books published.

Arugam Bay 
Must have something.
 Very Special. Even magical.
 
 Because we know of few resorts, which have the honour to have half a dozen or more Books and Novels, travel Reports and History Documents Published in Book Form.
 We refer to International publications; not Travel Guide Books.

Only recently, the  best seller “Der Krokodilfelsen” (The Crocodile Rock) was finally translated from it’s original two German editions into English:

This establishment above is also featured
And you may buy or borrow the book from there.

The Travel Novel is based on true facts, set in 1983 in Arugam Bay.
It gives a perfect insight into the Bay as it was then. 
And follows events all the way to Hawaii.
Highly recommended to buy and read!
Local  outlets are expected to stock it, but a link to Amazon will be published by the aithor herself in due course.
Frau Claudia reacted at once.
Here is the order link:
Order Here. From Amazon directly

Below a summary:
Sri Lanka 1983: For the first time, the young German backpacker travels alone to South Asia. In the fishing village of Arugam Bay, she meets the charismatic Tamil Sooriya with whom she bonds in a special relationship.It is a time when civil war begins ravaging the tropical island. Sooriya finds himself increasingly in danger. In a situation tense with political intrigue, they arrange for Sooriya to leave the country.Years later, destiny reunites them. Sooriya is now living in Hawaii where he has become an acclaimed copper artist and the spiritual leader of Mouna Farm Arts and Culture Village. Back in Sri Lanka, he is respected as a holy man.In 2016, Sooriya Kumar got the award of “Living Treasure of Hawaii.” In 2017 the Love Peace Harmony Foundation and the United Nations Association of Hawaii honored Sooriya as an “International Peace Builder.”

FREE Visa to Visit Sri Lanka!

Good News!

With immediate effect mostNations now qualify to be issued with a completely FREE Tourist Visa. On arrival. Or via the link below:
http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/
Please note that the link above is the ONLY proper, official web site.
Do NOT fall for scam and other pages, who offer the same at much higher costs.

This will give you a troubled free, 30 day visa to enjoy tropical, sage and secure Sri Lanka.
Once you are here, and LOVE it: This can be extended for 2 more months, and even up to 6 months (moderate charges apply depending on Nationality)>
Further information and list of included Nations below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Sri_Lanka

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Great Beach(es) for awesome Winter Sun

Arugam Bay Beach

Sri Lanka

November through March is a great time to visit Sri Lanka, but it can get crowded.

Arugam Bay, on the southeast coast, is a far cry from the busier resorts on this teardrop-shaped island’s west side, which are packed at this time of year.

With its chilled, hammock-swinging vibe, excellent beachfront restaurants (don’t pass up the fish curries at Ranga’s Beach Hut), and superb surf, Arugam Bay is a wonderful place to escape the crowds and get a taste of Indian Ocean life.

Source:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tripideas/12-great-beaches-for-winter-sun/ar-AAHnZ5n?li=BBnbklE

World surfs in Sri Lanka

World surfs in Sri Lanka
‘So Sri Lanka Pro 2019’ in Arugam Bay from September 23 to 29:
M.A. Phakurdeen -Addalaichenai Group Correspondent

The upcoming ‘So Sri Lanka Pro’ professional surfing event set for Arugam Bay, popular for its magnificent surf, has been extremely well received by professional surfers from all over the world.

The international professional surfing competition is to be held in Arugam Bay from September 23 to 29.

With entries still coming in, already around 120 surfers from 24 countries such as Australia, Indonesia, France, Venezuela, Israel, the USA, Portugal, New Zealand, Mexico, Spain, Great Britain, Brazil, South Africa, Costa Rica, Argentina, Japan, Ireland, Chile, Belgium, Peru, India, the Maldives, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have entered the event.

“It is fantastic to see that contestants from many different nationalities have already entered into So Sri Lanka Pro,” said World Surf League (WSL) Contest Director for the event, Will Hayden-Smith. “The event is extremely important for all these surfers with essential qualification points aligned to the world rankings. With great waves also very likely to greet these surfers, they have shown their approval for the event with entries coming in from all over the world.”

Many of these surfers are well known within the world professional surfing ranks and many are serious contenders to represent their nations in the 2020 Japan Olympic Games, where surfing makes its Olympic debut.

One such surfer is the fast-emerging Rio Waida from Indonesia. The powerful youngster was placed third in the WSL World Junior Championships in 2018 and he is already identified as the future star of the sport.

“I am very excited to be coming to Sri Lanka for this great event,” said Waida. “I have heard great things about the waves in Sri Lanka and it is always fantastic for us to have the opportunity to compete in quality surf. I can’t wait!”

So Sri Lanka Pro 2019 will also play as a huge opportunity for some of the local surfers to take on the international professionals as wildcards in the event. This opportunity is something that has been made possible through the WSL and the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka.

The world-famous tourist resort in Pottuvil, Arugam Bay is going to be a hive of activity as a series of events have been organised from September 23 till the end of the month. This world-qualified ranking event in surfing and World Tourism Day have been planned to be celebrated there.

The ranking event in surfing has been organised in conjunction with the Sri Lanka National Surf Federation under the guidance of the World Surf Federation and elaborate arrangements have been made to accord a warm welcome to surfers from various parts of the world.

The event for local surfers has been scheduled for September 23 and 24, where 32 surfers from various parts of the country have already submitted their entries while the world-qualified ranking event is to be worked out on September 25 and 29, where more than 130 surfers are expected to take part in this event.

A progress review meeting to finalise arrangements and to entrust assignments to respective organisations and personalities held at the Arugam Bay Tristar Hotel auditorium was presided over by District Secretary D.M.L. Bandaranayake with the participation of Additional District Secretary A.M. Latheef, Eastern Province Tourism Bureau Director General A.S.M. Faiz, Pottuvil Divisional Secretariat D.R. Thiraviaraj, Divisional Secretary M.A.C. Nazeel, Pottuvil Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman M.S.M. Waseeth, Chamber of Tourism and Industry President A.M. Jaufer, Arugam Bay Tourism Association Chairman M.H.A. Raheem and high-ranking officers of Tri Forces.

Lanka Sportreizen Chairman Thilak Weerasinghe and President of the Sri Lanka Surfing Federation Hiran Ukwatte briefed the arrangements being made for the event. Officials in charge of electricity, water supply or drinking water, hotel and accommodation for invitees, parking areas, security arrangements, temporary police posts, first aid services, transportation, volunteering, invitees and invitations, solid waste and garbage management, carnival site arrangement, beach cleaning, sanitary facilities, refreshments, media campaign, and promotion and publicity were also discussed at length.

Arugam Bay Tourism Association Chairman M.H.A. Raheem said that there are 226 hotels in Arugam Bay with a capacity of 3,000 rooms to accommodate more than 7,500 tourists from various parts of the world.

“If necessary, additional accommodation facilities too could be arranged. Bookings have already been made and some of the competitors have already arrived and are practicing. This is a good sign,” he said.

“So Sri Lanka Pro 2019 will also play as a huge opportunity for some of the local surfers to take on the international professionals as wildcards in the event. This opportunity is something that has been made possible through the WSL and the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka. It will be amazing to have the WSL come back to Sri Lanka,” said Sri Lankan Surfing Federation President Hiran Ukwatte.

“We cannot wait to witness a world-class event and watch the positive effect it will have on surf sports in our country and on surf tourism to the area. Arugam Bay is a world-class wave with some fantastic local surfers such as D.A. Lakshitha from Weligama, Praneeth Sandaruwan and Lesitha Prabath from Arugam Bay to name a few. These surfers are looking forward to the opportunity to compete with surfers from all over the world,” he said.

“They will have the opportunity to compete with wildcards in the So Sri Lanka Pro event, which will be an incredible experience for them. At present, the three top surfers of Sri Lanka are competing at the2019 ISA World Surfing GamesinMiyazaki, Japan, which is an Olympic qualifying event. Finally, the tireless efforts of the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka have made this event happen and I truly believe the event will make the Federation grow in many ways and become an integral part of sport development in this country,” Ukwatte said.

“Meanwhile, beaches are also being cleaned by the Arugam Bay Development Forum (ADF). Members of the ADF, Tri Forces personnel and the public too are participating in shramadana. A large number of foreigners too are voluntarily engaged in this task,” ADF President Hajith said.

Arrangements are also afoot to celebrate World Tourism day on September 27 in Arugam Bay with colourful and cultural events. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and Tourism Bureau of Eastern Province together with the Chamber of Tourism and Industry of Sri Lanka have drawn up all programs.

Eastern Province Tourism Bureau Director General A.S.M. Fayis told the Daily News that the highlight of the day would be the sail and cruise ship from which one could watch whales and dolphins.

Foreigners and locals are allowed to board the ship for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Meanwhile, Chamber of Tourism and Industry President A.M. Jaufer has made all arrangements to give away the awards and certificates to the winners who won the art competition on the theme ‘Creating employment opportunities in tourism’; an Eco Tourism Award will also be presented.

At the same time, the National Youth Services Council has planned a few cultural events with the objective of strengthening communal amity, inter-communal harmony and co-existence.

source:
http://www.dailynews.lk/2019/09/18/features/197202/world-surfs-sri-lanka

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So Sri Lanka Pro 2019 surfing from Sept 25 to 29

World Surfing League Qualifying Series 3000, also referred to as So Sri Lanka Pro 2019 is all set to be staged at the world-class point break of Arugam Bay from 25 to 29 September, with the participation of over 122 surfers from 24 nations.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau announced that the surfing event has been extremely well-received by professional surfers from around the world while many have expressed their keen interest to participate and witness the qualifying rounds in Sri Lanka.

The Bureau noted that while entries are still being received, nearly 122 surfers from 24 nations have entered the final list. This impressive line-up includes participating countries such as Australia, Indonesia, France, Venezuela, Israel, USA, Portugal, New Zealand, Mexico, Spain, Great Britain, Brazil, South Africa, Costa Rica, Argentina, Japan, Ireland, Chile, Belgium, Peru, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka. World Surf League (WSL) Regional Manager Asia and Global VNR Producer Steve Robertson remarked, “We are here to deliver positive stories about Sri Lanka to the world. This is all about a magnificent surfing event and a global promotion about Sri Lanka. All Sri Lankan media is encouraged to engage with World Surf League. We want to work with the domestic media as well. It’s been a great journey, and we are looking forward to the event. We want to bring out a superb event, where everyone is a winner, and we want to keep coming back here, and just to reiterate of how great Sri Lanka is as a destination.”

“It will be so amazing to have the WSL come back to Sri Lanka,” said Sri Lankan Surfing Federation President Hiran Ukwatte. “We can’t wait to witness a world-class event and watch the positive effect it will have on surf sports in our country and on surf tourism to the area. Arugam Bay is a world-class wave with some fantastic local surfers like D.A. Lakshitha, Praneeth Sandaruwan, and Lesitha Prabath to name a few. These surfers are looking forward to the opportunity to compete with and surf with surfers from all around the world,” he expressed.

Many of these surfers are very well-known within the world professional surfing ranks and many are serious contenders to represent their nations in next year’s 2020 Japan Olympic Games, where surfing makes its Olympic debut. One such surfer is the fast emerging Rio Waida from Indonesia. The powerful youngster placed 3rd in the WSL World Junior Championships in 2018 and he is already identified as future star of the sport.

“I am very excited to be coming to Sri Lanka for this great event,” said Waida. “I’ve heard great things about the waves in Sri Lanka and it is always fantastic for us to have the opportunity to compete in quality surf ? I can’t wait!”

The So Sri Lanka Pro 2019 will also play as a huge opportunity for some of the local surfers to take on the international professionals as wildcards in the event. This opportunity is something that has been made possible through the WSL and the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Kishu Gomes remarked that the event will amplify Sri Lanka’s position as a major surfing and tourist destination. “Over 700 visitors are also expected to be present, in addition to the 122 surfers who would be in the country. The surfers and visitors are scheduled to spend at least 10 days in the surfing paradise of Arugam Bay,” he said.

The So Sri Lanka Pro 2019 Men’s QS3000 will run from 25-29 September, and the ground arrangements will be handled by Lanka Sportreizen. Head to www.worldsurfleague.com or the WSL App for more information. Click here for more information on Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

source:
http://www.colombopage.com/archive_19B/Sep15_1568525691CH.php

Security Update Easter Sunday 2019

  1. Crisis in Sri Lanka
    Please be informed that most social media have now been blocked and are inaccessible.
    Therefore Facebook, What’s Up, Instagram and Twitter
    as well as the BBC etc.
    Are no longer available on our island right now.
    This is in  reaction today’s bomb explosions
    And to stop rumors.Anyone feeling unsafe, anywhere, is invited to come to Arugam Bay.
    Where the Community and some hotels will provide FREE rooms.
    To anyone who requires comfort and shelter
    (Plenty of free rooms are available)

    Fact seems to be, that 
    5 Star Hotels and
    Christian Churches 
    are the main target:
    There are NONE of those in AbaY
    We just don’t have  a  church, and No Big Hotel.
    Also, the only and single road in & out of Arugam
    Is very easy to control.

    So it is realistic to assume, that 
    Arugam Bay is a very safe destination.
    History, in all those terrible war years have shown just that

    Nobody has an interest (so far) to blast a few surfers and pot smokers…
    This is a fact.This is NOT a tourist promotion,
    Nor does this post have any financial motive!
    But it’s a useful information
    And an invitation to anyone feeling unsafe elsewhere.
    The Community welcomes you.
    And money is not an issue at all.