Thursday, January 08, 2009

8th Jan - Sri Lanka - The End

Sri Lanka has been the most diverse, beautiful and fascinating place i have ever been to and has far exceeded any expectations i had of the country. I had no idea what to expect, only what i had read and seen on the internet. I can’t begin to put my experience and feelings into words, i can only say it needs to be seen to be believed. Sometimes life seems to be one big game of chance, i just happened to be stopping in Sri Lanka for fuel on the way over to Oz and i end up travelling there for 10 days having some of the best experiences of my life.

I have learned a lot during my stay here, particularly about the difficulties and problems the country is facing right now. I cant believe its really happening; there's a full blown out war in the north yet its the most relaxed, serene and friendly place I’ve been to.

without going into too much detail (and correct me if I’m wrong) the conflict is over territory, the Tamil people in the north (originally from India, bought over by the British to work) want their own country after the few hundred years they have been there. The Sri Lankan government clearly doesn’t want that and so the conflict has been going on for the last 25 years. it is said that many of the key Tamil Tigers leaders are now dead and so the war is hoped to be over within the year. However this may not put a stop to the Tamil people doing suicide attacks on the Sri Lankans and key public/ military places. The Tamils apparently try to ensure no foreign people are caught up in the attacks, they done want that because if they do eventually claim independence from Sri Lanka, they will then need trade and tourism which they won’t get if there seen to be attacking everyone.

Only on my last day, on the way to the airport has the situation hit home a little more. This is because a large suicide bomb went off on a train in Mount Lavinia station (which is where i was on my first day) in fact its the one in my photos and videos. So hearing its happened where i have stepped and many people have lost their lives makes it a little more real to me.

But the simple truth is i would definitely come back. the problems are only within a tiny part of the country - the far north and the capital, Colombo. As soon as you venture out everything is fine and that is where everything worth seeing is. It’s a tragic story for a country that has so much going for it, I hope it has a good future and I’m glad i got to see it while its relatively un known to the rest of the world.

Sri Lanka Done 10/10 … Off to Singapore!

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