Sri Lanka

Stories That Put Vacations Into Perspective

‘A million hit by island’s worst crisis since tsunami’ says today’s Independent newspaper. ‘Sri Lanka is battling to confront widescale monsoon flooding that has affected more than one million people and which the government says is second only to the 2004 tsunami in terms of the devastation it has caused. Around 30,000 troops are struggling […]

The Truck Stops Here

We reached the airfield but the helicopter never showed. The officers were as charming and helpful as every other Sri Lankan we’ve met, but there was nothing to be done except brave a marathon 12-hour drive in a diesel fume-filled van across the country in pounding rain, over pitted, traffic-crammed roads that looked more like […]

Religionist Should Be Gently

At the Rock Temple visiting a great many Buddhas, reclining, standing and cobra-hooded, I wait beside a sacred spot where prayers are offered (a great place for offering-nicking monkeys bottom-left) and see this sign, exhorting all those of different religions to remember that ‘good health is marked by a respect for all others regardless of […]

All You Need Is Words

As it’s fairly chucking down here at Kandamala’s awesomely odd eco-lodge in monsoon-ridden Sri Lanka, I’m in a forest recycling centre, learning how paper-trims from junk mail get turned into beautiful paper by mixing it with elephant dung. I remember how the ‘newpapers’ like the Daily Mail tried to smear Chris Ofili, the excellent Turner […]

Temples Of The Past

So I’m hanging off the side of the Lion Rock in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, looking at the fast-fading frescoes of concubines painted to amuse King Kassapa I (AD 477 – 495), one of seven World Heritage Sites in the country – you could see the photos but I don’t want to bore you with holiday […]