This is part of a series of letters I wrote to our guests after the horrible Easter Bombings that took place April 21st, 2019. It had such a positive response that I thought it would be good to share thoughts of the situation from inside as it transpired.
Part 1, May 2 2019
I’m Prithvi, your host and owner of The Spice Trail in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka. The Spice Trail is my home as much as it is a resort loved by many from around the world. With everything that has been going on, I wanted to send you a personal message sharing what it’s really like to travel to Sri Lanka and stay at The Spice Trail.
Following the Easter Sunday attacks, the security in Sri Lanka was tight. The next few days saw night curfews so that security forces could speed up investigations and ensure public safety. A meticulous security campaign was conducted by our forces in collaboration with some of the best international military intelligence services. This resulted in sweeping arrests across the island, and more importantly, to identifying the core group behind the atrocity. We’ve seen the thoroughness of these operations in Colombo, and all the way in the East Coast in Arugam Bay, despite the town not being directly affected or connected in any way. No stone was left unturned. Following this successful operation, the curfews were lifted, all businesses have just restarted regular operations since last Monday. People are back on the streets, and we are all breathing easier.
Here at The Spice Trail, we’ve just begun to see resumed activity in bookings, giving us confidence that the sense of ease we’re feeling is also felt by our guests across the world. We are open and operating as usual, continuing to provide our guests with excellent service, standards and value during their stay on this beautiful island. We’re just at the brink of another amazing surf season on the East Coast, and it’s a special one because we’re announcing our latest addition to The Spice Trail Resort family—our very own bar ‘The Local’. With our ever-popular BITES café, our permaculture farm in Komari , ‘The Kitchen’ farm-to-table restaurant, along with the legendary Arugam waves, wildlife and historical places like Kudumbigala, we have a string of unforgettable experiences here.
Did the Easter Sunday attacks knock us back a little with these plans? Yes. But, we won’t let the actions of a cowardly few hold us back for too long. Sri Lanka was rated 2019’s number one travel destination by Lonely Planet for many reasons; the welcoming spirit of our people was highlighted among them. Should you come this way, be sure to find this warm Sri Lankan smile unchanged. We have survived a civil war and a tsunami, so healing and moving on stronger is in our nature. We know it’s the best response to this wave of hate that is trying to take shape all over the world. There’s no place for it here.
Sri Lanka remains a paradise, and we warmly welcome you to come discover it.
As always, feel free to reach out to me to ask any questions—it will be my duty and pleasure.
I leave you with this picture of the Panama Road, right in front of The Spice Trail resort—having a coffee, talking about the waves (which were well overhead today), it reminded me so much of what I love about this beautiful place.