Ayubowan! (Wish you a long life)
Welcome to The Pearl, an ongoing essay on Sri Lanka’s natural and cultural splendor. The Pearl was conceptualized to serve as a treasure chest for the discerning tourist, keen to discover what curiosities and comforts this Indian Ocean geography has to offer. However in this inaugural message, I’d like to say that The Pearl is much more than just this…
The Pearl is also a celebration of an emerging zeitgeist in our country; one that would be best summarised as a feeling of genuine hope and confidence, across the whole gamut of human endeavor. The cities are clean and beautiful, the road network is expanding by leaps and bounds, agriculture, industry and technology sectors are booming, lifestyles are improving, the construction of both commercial and personal dwellings is on the rise and the country’s economy as a whole seems to be forging ahead.
The tourism sector in particular has come under the spotlight for development, and the variety of services on offer to fulfill the needs of discerning tourists is staggering. Fast Internet, extensive mobile-phone coverage, super luxury accommodation, yachts, spas, guided-tours and unbounded natural beauty are commonplace.
Hiker, biker, jogger or birder,
Surfer, sailor, pilgrim or climber;
You are more than likely to find your corner of bliss in Sri Lanka.
We have our share of troubles, albeit trifling in comparison to the days of the civil war, which now lies well and truly in the past. Occasionally, we find marginal forces attempting to disrupt the harmony that exists within the complex sociocultural fabric of our island nation. These rare incidents are orchestrated to stir up ideological differences that are truly irrelevant in today’s world, perhaps with ulterior political or geopolitical motives. Suffice to say that Sri Lankans by and large have gotten used to ignoring fancy, dangerous ideology in favor of a more pragmatic approach to life. We are resilient, and this is good news for the tourist.
Enhancement of public utilities and expansion in tourism is wonderful, so long as we realize that we are creatures of our environment, and that our fragile existence depends entirely on how we treat our natural surroundings. The clean air we breathe and the ample water supply that we continue to enjoy is a direct consequence of the biodiverse environment that is Sri Lanka. So whether we are tourist or citizen, we have every reason to protect our natural habitat.
The articles in The Pearl are meant to be informative, and we warmly welcome your feedback. They attempt to tell you a story – the unfolding story of Sri Lanka’s natural and cultural heritage.
Nilu, Ruwan & Danushka – The Editorial Team – The Pearl (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photography | Nilu Rajapakse (Elephant saluting, Independence Arcade, Bambarakanda Falls, children in Nuwara Eliya)