Fighting terrorism before it strikes

P Gunasegaram

Modified 29 May 2019, 11:51 pm

QUESTION TIME | We arrived at Colombo airport, late one night in mid-May.

Due to heightened security after the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, we had to take a transit bus from the arrival area to outside the airport area to meet our transport, and a two-and-a-half-hour journey to the southern coast near Galle to the resort, arriving there in the wee hours of the morning.

We were the only guests there, occupying two rooms out of seven. At the time that we booked our resort, it was filling up rapidly but the attack on churches and hotels in and near Colombo and on the west coast resulted in major cancellations and very limited tourist flow.

Sri Lanka had already suffered the trauma of a brutal attack on its people by extremists and terrorists - after 10 years of peace since the killing of Velupillai Prabhakaran and his Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, itself a terrorist group. Slowly the country was recovering - and then this.

To compound the brutality of the latest attack, the country is suffering economically as foreigners shun the island, dealing a blow to the vital tourist industry. Confidence waned and inevitably its currency, already under siege by poor economic policies, took a further beating...

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