By Colombo Telegraph –
Sri Lanka is not within the 45 best destinations to visit in 2012. The New York Times listed “45 places to go in 2012” destinations including Kerala and Maldives. The list published January 6, 2012 in the New York Times travel section.
It is speculated that The New York Times has dropped Sri Lanka after Christmas Day gang rape and killing incident in President Rajapaksa’s political home base, Tangalle. The Tangalle incident where one British national was killed and his companion, a Russian national reportedly brutalized and raped on Christmas Day by provincial supporters of the administration .Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said the companion of the murdered British tourist Kuram Shaikah Zaman was sexually assaulted after the brutal attack on the couple. Russian national Victoria Alexandrovna, 23, is being treated in Karapitiya hospital, Galle at the intensive care unit. “After the attack Victoria was found naked by the time the police arrived to investigate. According to an eye witness she was raped even as she lay bleeding from the head wound” the chairman of the AHRC Basil Fernando told the BBC Sinhala Service. “A government spokesman’s first reaction to the media was to deny the rape. This is the usual pattern of government spokesmen who tried to defend government politicians even when they are involved in serious crimes”. Fernando further told the BBC.
Sri Lanka was among the best destinations to visit in 2012 National Geographic Traveler, by US-based magazine, which has focused on the island’s hill country. Another monthly travel magazine in Britain ‘Condé Nast Traveller’ has nominated Sri Lanka as one of the top five destinations to watch in year 2012. The travel experts of the magazine have predicted that Sri Lanka will be among the hottest new holiday destinations for travellers in the coming year. Unveiling the list of destinations the magazine reveals that, “One of the great joys of travel is the feeling you’ve discovered somewhere special, somewhere that’s all yours, for the first time – before the developers move in and the crowds descend. It could be a new and unexplored region, like the Arctic Circle, or an entire country that has been off-limits to tourists for political reasons, such as Sri Lanka and Burma.” Sri Lanka has been placed third in the list of destinations ahead of Britain, Australia and Abu-Dhabi . Other Asian destinations to watch in 2012 named by Conde Nast Traveller in 2012 includes Vietnam and Burma, which was subject to an unofficial tourist boycott until recently with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.
Sri Lanka is targeting 2.5 million tourist by the year 2016.
Read; The New York Times listed “45 places to go in 2012”