Experience Multicultural Sri Lanka
The eastern region of Sri Lanka is slowly emerging from the effects of the civil war years and the 2004 tsunami, although the area probably will remain off the beaten track for a little while yet. The region suffered widespread death and destruction during the civil war due to violent confrontations between the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim populations, with innocent civilians being caught up in brutal clashes between the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tigers. Since 2007 when the Sri Lankan army retook the region for the first time in more than two decades, peace has returned and slow but steady reconstruction means that a much brighter future is on the horizon.
Before the conflict began in 1983, the east coast was the place to go from April to September and its demise during the conflict was Maldives gain since this island archipelago was a tourist backwater until then – how times have changed! However, with renewed confidence in the area, tourists are slowly returning to the superb beaches of Arugam Bay, Nilaveli and rejuvenated Passikudah, although Gal Oya, Kumana and Lahugala NPs as well as some lesser-known but interesting cultural sites are mostly deserted. Consequently, the eastern region of Sri Lanka is still a relaxed and seldom visited backwater outside of the July/August holiday season. The area is ripe for exploration and discovery, particularly between April and September – so what’s stopping you?