As you may know, a few months ago I visited Sri Lanka and blogged about it in previous posts. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw the Galle suicide bombings on CNN and BBC news. Shock, horror….and even more surprise when the correspondent interviewed Karl, the owner and manager from the Galle Fort Hotel, who had become a friend.
Galle, south of Sri Lanka, has never been attacked by the Tamil Tiger rebels before, and was considered by tourists to be a “safe” haven away from the attacks usually seen up north. But apparently, the rebels had a change in their tactics. The suicide bomb, which took place on the shores of the Naval base in Galle injured 26 and killed 2 soldiers.
So is it safe? Apparently so. Major tour operators like Kuoni, Explore and Experience Sri Lanka, have said that all trips will go ahead as planned and that there is no real danger (also saying that they will offer refunds if necessary).
The Foreign Office has NOT put out a travel warning advisory, which means that these tour companies and airlines are not obliged to offer refunds in this case.
Sam Clark, director of specialist tour operator Experience Sri Lanka explains:
“The Tigers have no history of attacking tourists, and have very rarely attacked civilians. These were still specific military targets..
I would consider it safe to go…..The government was in a strong position going into the forthcoming peace talks. So the Tigers hit hard to bring tourism to a standstill in order to send a message to the government. But I suspect that will be it for now”
[tags]Galle,Sri Lanka, Bombings,Tamil Tigers,Safe Travel,Tourism[/tags]