Fighting the Galle Fort jams

Why Sri Lanka’s famed Fort needs fewer vehicles
The archway at one of the entrances to the Galle Fort
Photo credit: Sean Stephen

The Galle Fort is a treasure trove of history, beautiful cobbled streets and well-restored buildings. And amongst these narrow streets flanked with quaint eateries, gem merchants and local art shops, there are also a lot of vehicles that do the rounds. So, if you are someone who prefers to walk around the Galle Fort to take in the charismatic aura of this 16th century Dutch stronghold, you’ll soon realize that the number of four-wheelers and three-wheelers is excessive.…

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INSIDE SRI LANKA A monthly insider’s report by Royston Ellis, August 2015

Tea Time
It’s a bit too early to put the kettle on but if you like tea then there are lots of events associated with tea being held in Sri Lanka in 2017. That’s to celebrate tea’s sesquicentennial based on it being 150 years since James Taylor, from Scotland, planted the first field of tea seedlings near Kandy. This led to the export to England of tea grown in the then Ceylon, thereby creating the great tea industry that made the colony self-sufficient and helped pay for much of its infrastructural development.


By coincidence, 1867 was a momentous year for Sri Lanka.…

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INSIDE SRI LANKA A monthly insider’s report by Royston Ellis, November 2014.

Jaffna Permit

Following the news last month of the Jaffna Peninsula being connected to the rest of Sri Lanka by train as a result of the completion of the re-laying of the railway track to Jaffna station after a break of two decades, restrictions on foreigners visiting Jaffna have been re-introduced.

It is still possible for foreigners to visit Jaffna (by road, air or rail) but all foreign passport holders (regardless of whether they are of Sri Lankan origin) are required to obtain permission from the Secretary, Ministry of Defence & Urban Development. The request must be made at least five working days before the proposed journey.…

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INSIDE SRI LANKA A monthly insider’s report by Royston Ellis, October 2014.

Best of the West

From October to March, the beaches on the west coast of Sri Lanka are the best. Whether you like broad strands of sand to jog along at the sea’s edge, soaring waves to surf as they splash on the shore, intimate coves for private sunbathing, or beaches lined with seafood cafés and bars, the beaches along the west coast are amazing, sunny playgrounds for visitors to Sri Lanka.


Being so close to the Equator, Sri Lanka’s seasons are not well defined, and there is no cool winter. The main difference in seasons is caused by the monsoons and it is from October to March (as the winds blow from east to west) that the sun shines daily, the sea is calm and along the west coast the beaches are sandy.…

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