Report claims that local fisherman have been forced off their land and denied access to the sea
British tour operators have been asked to recognise their responsibilities in Sri Lanka over claims that the construction of tourist resorts are having an adverse effect on the local population.
A report, called A Shadow on the Sunny Paradise, from the human rights organisation Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), claims that locals are not properly informed about the development of tourist projects that are of little benefit to them.
Three regions - Kuchchaveli and Passikudah on the east coast, and Kalpitiya, a hotspot for kite surfing in the west - have recently been developed to the detriment of 1,200 families, the report suggests.
“In the examined regions, the hotels and resorts often keep fishermen away from the sea, jeopardizing the economic livelihood of many families,” the report states. “Further, there are cases of land expropriation. Only a small part of the local population is able to live off tourism.”
Six years after the civil war, the society claimed that the Sri Lankan government is trying to paint a picture for tourists of a country that has returned to normal, but said that the reality was somewhat different.