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What’s in a name, you ask? Well, quite a bit with Sri Lanka.

In the Sanskrit language, Sri Lanka translates roughly to “prosperous island.” This island nation, the size of West Virginia, offers over a thousand miles of coastline. Spanning inland from brilliant beaches (e.g., Unawatuna) are gorgeous tea plantations, lush rainforests (Sinharaja) full of fauna and wildlife, and a multitude of protected national parks (Yala) housing leopards, water buffalo and elephants, among others.

Things to Do. Spend a few days in the capital city, Colombo, soaking in the mix of Tamil and Sinhalese cultures. Experience the Perahera festival in Kandy, usually celebrated in August. Spend a couple of hours at Pinnawela’s Elephant Orphanage as the beasts bath themselves in the river. Go trekking with local Udaya Puswella and his company to gain an understanding of the land.

Places to Stay. Comfortable accommodations can be found easily throughout the island. But one place should not be missed: The Tea Factory in Nuwara Eliya.

Eats. Open a King’s coconut and drink its juice. Ask for a ripe and an unripe wood apple. Try some “egg hoppers” full of curry.

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Comments

Russell Aug. 11, 2009 @ 11:27 a.m.

Dominic DeGrazier is apparently twittering on what Sri Lankan Tourism ministry is spending millions to attract the shattered tourism ravaged by the country's human rights violations and treatment to displaced civilians. I was in the ca[pital Colombo during the warvictory celebrations on the street where most tamils stayed indoors fearing another civil riots like what happened in the 80's.

It is imperative that we put the service to humanity first until things calm down where security and dignity are preserved.

I wouldn't jump the gun against Travel Advisory. There are many other far eastern countries with peace and tranquilty.

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Dominic DeGrazier Aug. 12, 2009 @ 1:16 p.m.

Thanks for your thoughts Russell - much appreciated. This piece is written from my past Sri Lankan trip. I fell in love with food, history, and people. But yes, now is an important time for Sri Lanka and its accompanying problems (escalated in the north of the country). I hope that Sri Lanka can achieve a peaceful resolution as quick as possible. I have Sri Lankan friends living in Colombo who feel that the country is trying to rid itself of the Tamil Tiger terrorist organization, and advance into the future productively, as best they know how. I hope so as well!

Dominic

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chefjulie Aug. 20, 2009 @ 2:29 p.m.

Wow, Sri Lanka sounds like a great place (with great food too!). Too bad that they are so war-torn right now. Hopefully they will sort it out so that it can be enjoyed by all.

Thanks for enlightening me a bit on the country.

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Dominic DeGrazier Sept. 14, 2009 @ 12:42 p.m.

I forgot to post a link to my blog. Here are my times in Sri Lanka (before the current situation that is): http://dominicdegrazier.wordpress.com

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sandiegoguy1998 Sept. 15, 2009 @ 2:01 p.m.

First, I would like to thank Dominic for that nice article on Sri Lanka. I am a Sri Lankan national who is living and working in San Diego.

Russell sounds like a typical Tamil Tiger terrorist supporter from the Sri Lankan ethnic group called "Tamil". In the late 1970's, the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka that comprise of just 12% of the total population created this ruthless terrorist group called the Tamil Tigers and started to wage war on the government to create a separate state in this small island. In the 30 years that followed, the Tamil terrorists killed thousands of civilians using suicide bombers. The Tamil diaspora spread across Europe and US funded the terrorist movement big time and thats how their killing machine continued. They were finally wiped out by a determined government in May of 2009. Currently there are many Tamil IDPs that were displaced by fighting and now the government is doing their level best to resettle them.

Tamil separatists are bitter today. Don't listen to their "Travel Advisories". Not a single bullet was fired or single bomb exploded after May 2009. Every single terrorist is either killed or in detention. Sri Lanka is a great place to visit. People are very friendly and just like Dominic you will have a great time there. There is infrastructure there and excellent hotels to stay. The war only damaged the North and East but Tourism is in the other parts of the island where infratructure is intact.

For more info, you can check out : http://www.srilankatourism.org/

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