Will demolition of illegal bars and restaurants make famed Sri Lanka party beach at Mirissa a better place?

 

An earthquake in the shape of government bulldozers recently hit Mirissa, Sri Lanka’s renowned south-coast tourist and surfing resort.

It happened after a group of Dutch visitors were attacked by local ‘beach boys’ who haunt and harass foreigners at the beachside bars and restaurants.

And because most of those ‘party premises’ were unlicensed, and thus illegal, 21 were demolished on the orders of President Maithripala Sirisena.

 

The story was widely reported around the Internet, and now a blogging couple on La Adventura Project are asking: Did the government make the right decision?

“The government’s official reasons for the deconstruction was that a) the structures are illegal, and b) they are causing an environmental impact along the coast.”

But they lament that this will have far-reaching effects on tourist arrivals at this famed party beach. “The party is over”, they say.

 

But is it? We don’t think so. In fact, the reverse might be true. It is likely that the majority of visitors will applaud the government’s efforts to crack down on the violence and harassment.

A government spokesman said that “the aim is to prevent problems to local and foreign tourists, ensuring their safety and protecting natural beauty of the environment”.

And says La Adventura Project: “Whatever ends up happening with all of this, hopefully in a few years Mirissa Beach will be in a better place because of the changes, however drastic that they were.”

Read more here.

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