Sri Lanka beacons Australian tourists to island nation

By Ashok Kumar

Damien Tudehope

Sydney 21 August, 2018: Wonder of Asia, Sri Lanka, a relatively small island of 65,604 Sq. Kms, slightly bigger than Tasmania ( 64,519 Sq.kms) is rich with natural and ancient attraction to suit the most discerning travellers. Marco Polo, when he discovered the island nation in the 13th century remarked,” undoubtedly, it is one of the finest islands.” It is said life begins all around the year in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau in collaboration with Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney organised the official launch of the Travel Industry Exhibition at the Darling Harbour yesterday where the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau delegates showcased unparalleled diversity of the Island nation and the newest travel experiences.

Hon. Mr. Damien Tudehope, Member for Epping in the NSW Parliament, spoke about the scenic beauty of Sri Lanka and suggested that there should be a combined travel package of Sri Lanka and India.

H. E. Mr. Lal Wickrematunge, Consul General of Sri Lanka, welcomed the guests and provided a peep into the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. Mr. Sutheash Balasubramaniam
Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, gave an overview of the major tourist attractions of the country and played the  promotional video for the audience.  He said Sri Lanka has a rich artistic tradition, with distinct creative forms that encompass music dance and arts. A peacock dance number was presented at the opening ceremony.

Mr. Balasubramaniam said the culturally rich island is home to a number of different religions bringing with them their own traditions, festivals and parades making Sri Lanka a hot spot for tourist and locals alike. Buddhist, Muslims and Hindu celebrations bring a unique flavour of dance, costume and music.

The best time for tourist to visit Sri Lanka is the Sinhala-Tamil new year in April each year, marking the start of a lengthy holiday period. The other opportune time is the new year celebration time. The most common religion in Sri Lanka is Buddhism, who hold their parades according to solar and lunar calendar to commemorate different significant events in life of Buddha’s life. One of the most important Buddhist religious celebrations is Vesak, or the full moon poya day, which commemorates the nativity, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha.

The largest cultural parade in the world, Kandy Esala Perahera in August  that showcases the best Sri Lankan dancing, music and domesticated tuskers in the country. Also famous in Sri Lankan culture is Devil Dance which has been practised for centuries to chase away devils and to help patients be cured of their illness. The best bet for tourists is to see performers to depict different characters.

There was a call for tourists to visit Sri Lanka. This was also revealed by Mr. Balasubramaniam that after 15 years Sri Lankan Airlines has resumed its operations. There is provision of e visa as well as visa on arrival  for tourist.

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About Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 38 years of experience in the profession in various capacities. He was a sub-editor in Patriot and later Chief Sub-editor in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He has several published articles and reports in Patriot and HT. Published reports in The Blacktown Sun in Sydney. He had also been a tutor in journalism in the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Editor at The Indian Sub-continent Times, Sydney.

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