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Report From Galle, Sri Lanka

By Val Ellis last modified Jan 26, 2011 10:10 AM

Published: 2011-01-26 10:10:53
Countries: Sri Lanka

Posted 24th January 2011

Your recent post regarding Galle makes the situation seem unnecessarily dire. We have been here for over one month now, and although it is very difficult to arrange quality labour to fix our transmission, it is a very pleasant place.

There are a large number of security, customs, and navy officials everywhere. Every single one will ask for smoking or arak, but their requests are much more benign than we've experienced in past countries (Indonesia, DR).

We have found everyone to be kind and courteous, and no one expects a gift. We have found no trouble saying no. Alternatively, we have also made many friends in the harbor, and have had no qualms about giving them some packs of cigarettes.

Galle is a pleasant and safe place, however there are indeed minimal services for yachts. Additionally, on approach to the Sri Lankan coast, we were approached by many fast small speedboats, however these approaches were also benign. Each asked for cigarettes and had no problem accepting a polite no for an answer.

sv William T Piquette

Posted 18th January 2011

All of the officials - Customs, Immigration, Health, etc. will ask you for a "gift." This happened to all twenty boats that arrived during and after our arrival.

There is a sign at security gate at Galle. The sign is in three languages...the English version reads:

It is a punishable offence to demand and or offer and or to accept bribes.
Hence all are warned not to commit this crime.

Director General, Sri Lanka Customs Dept.

The advice is do not be intimidated into giving "gifts".

This report has been sent to Noonsite but the name and boat withheld on request.