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This used to be our the header to our site.
It has now been moved into the archives to make room for our new “Surfer’s Blog”



Arugam Bay Hotel Association (AbHa) is a non-profit organization conceived in 1999 and formed 2001 with the sole aim to attract visitors to the Bay and to improve the lifestyle of all its natives and residents.

Arugam Bay Tourist Association (AbTa) was formed after the Tsunami and concentrates more on local issues. The AbTa home page (www.visitarugambay.com) gives more details.

This site is designed to be totally independent, and hopefully will compliment all efforts made by both Associations in future. The goodwill is here!

History/ Background
With the arrival of a well funded US Agency A?a??A?Mercy CorpsA?a??A? in 2005 AbHa has largely been withdrawn from local politics. Since then AbHa only concentrated on the Promotion of the Bay abroad. AbHa could be considered as Arugam BayA?a??a?? Foreign Office.

Together we are Strong! Indeed!
AbHa realized, much earlier than September, 2006, that cooperation leads to mutual benefits and makes us strong as a Community.
If we could have a common voice and strong International and maybe even a National lobby it would lead to many improvements of the Bay. Our aim is after all to and better the life quality of its nicely mixed bunch of residents. see above: AbHa.

At a full Association meeting in 2002 a democratically elected chairman, Mr. Rahim, was soon found.
It did not turn out to be a huge success – because nothing was done for years.
Even in difficult times, like in December 2004 the Bay appeared to have no leader or coordinator. AbHa webmasters decided it was time to act and the first self help group in the entire Asian disaster was borne on Dec. 26th itself; by-passing the elected, sadly dormant committee.

AbHa became a highly successful model, with a very good cash for work program, totally free Internet access and the first and only Tsunami Early Warning Centre in Sri Lanka – At great loss to the Community AbHa was unfortunately never once supported when donation dripping NGOA?a??a??s had to compete with each other by staging with various publicity stunts during 2005. No place for us.
We proposed to use a neutral website to coordinate all the help and avoid duplications where the same person receives assistance from fearlessly competing global Aid organizations. Again we were ahead of our timeA?a??A?..:
No takers for our forward looking, modern ideas!
Otherwise a A?a??E?fishermanA?a??a??, who may never even have seen a single boat in his life time would not have ended up owning a fleet of a dozen or so by now.
We have lived overseas, were are much better informedA?a??A?..and we regret that we are not so easy to impress as a simple native.
For example, we feel that at the every least a badly damaged – or maybe even vanished Tourist Hotel should at the very least receive help to the tune of one single fishing boatsA?a??a?? value. We didnA?a??a??t get anything at all.
New AbTa was formed with the full support of a somewhat far too idealistic and inexperienced Ms. Lyn Robinson of A?a??A?Mercy CorpsA?a??A?, whom as a person and persistence and durability we totally underestimated at the time – to be fair.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that history will show our mistake my well be reciprocal.

Our correspondent at the time (see archives) actually welcomed US LynA?a??a??s new, if somewhat undermining and as turned out to be Community splitting initiative in March 2005.
However, AbHa, whom never charged its members a single rupee, could not agree with the demand of a very high membership fee; specially for such an unproven, new Association.
How could we we agree with a brand new business structure, chaired by a non elected chairman?
AbTa was hence established without us. It certainly was a remarkable result of the A?a??A?Changing livesA?a??A? policy by a US lady sitting on the Board with 1 Million USD in her pocket at the time, representing Ms. O. WhinfreyA?a??a??s A?a??A?reaching out to the victims in the Arugam BayA?a??A? by means of a A?a??E?generousA?a??a?? donation.
Various further money collecting appeals were made during an emotional show or two featuring our plight in the Bay.
Why come and further collect from us, who lost near everything? ThatA?a??a??s how we thought and wondered at the time.

Further, the new board seems to have been pre-arranged with an unproportionally high content of Muslim enterprineurs, given the fact that most hotels & near all the guests in AbaY are non-halal.
Later declarations by new AbTa claiming Arugam Bay to be a Muslim town and ladies should cover up, even when on holiday reinforced our fears of an unwarranted influence for a resort set out to cater mainly for western visitors.
AbHaA?a??a?? position is that we are happy to accept and respect PottuVille is a Muslim settlement; indeed many visitors are surprised to find such a strong Middle Eastern influence with many Bin Laden look a-likes running from the one tea shop to the male only market. This is fairly unusual in a Buddhist nation to say the least.
Safe bet: You will not find one single, legal bottle of liquor in town.
You will never be bothered by any wild boar or domestic pig either. The paradox is that A?a??E?PottuVille Wild Boar is actually a National delicacy (but it actually comes from Panama, further South).
AbHa is proud to state that Arugam Bay different. The resort is a consistency very peaceful, (hmmA?a??A?usually..we mean..apart A?a??A?.09/06A?a??A? i think), but a beautiful, happy, mixed place where people of all faiths and heritage live and work together for many, many years.
There are Muslim, Tamil and Sinhalese Hotels on the A?a??E?SunrisestripA?a??a??, a few popular hotels are even run by mixed marriage foreign immigrants.
AbHa believes that there is no religious problem at all; all we observe is a huge lifestyle conflict, between us and the town which fully governs us, PottuVille.
Many wish we could be connected more with Panama or Lahugala, because the lifestyle gulf is far less deep in this direction; there are many old resorts on the South and West.
Muslims are very proud of their religion.
Events in the five few years since 2001 have shown that not everybody wants to take a well earned vacation in the Middle East, camp near a mosk or reject a fresh beer or glass of wine.

In a Bhuddist nation we are happy to Buy cheap albendazole without prescription offer beach life and moderate forms of entertainment, mainly catering to foreign visitors.

After nearly 2 years we realize that with our contribution and the cooperation between all the Tsu. affected businesses Arugam Bay would without doubt have received much more help.
Inter Community rivalry, much unfounded jealousy have even irritated many casual visitors.
Many good meaning NGOA?a??a??s came, wanted to help: But left again due to confusion and mistrust in our own Community:
We have to learn to WORK together, praise each otherA?a??a??s good points.
It is totally unproductive to continue to talk bad about A?a??E?the othersA?a??a??:
We are all in one boat; Remember: We were given one chance. Did we really make the best out of Dec/2004? Our new chance and fresh beginning?
AbHa does not think so and we wonder if we should get involved again.
What do you think?
Can our new web site A?a??E?blogA?a??a?? ever compete with a highly professional, much more powerful Mercy Corps site: Wishing you would Visitarugam Bay?
Indeed, why should we – we should work together for the common good!
If you like our open, down to earth approach and honest thoughts; please support us & leave a comment!
AbHa has never received any funds or support from anyone apart from the founder member of the Siam View Hotel (SVH).

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