By Indika Sri Aravinda
A proposal has been put forward to have a nudist beach in Kalutara and it was taken up for discussion as early as last month.
The nudist beach was proposed to be opened at Calido beach in Kalutara, an area which was declared last year as a tourist zone.
Calido beach is within a 1 x 1 ½ km strip area and the management of a leading casino operating in Colombo was tasked with operating the tourist zone.
Stardust casino had proposed a nudist beach in Kalutara as part of moves to promote tourism in the area and had sought approval from the relevant authorities.
However the Kalutara Municipal Council strongly objected to the move saying it does not suite Sri Lankan culture and will also harm the sentiments of the strong Buddhist community who visit Kalutara.
When contacted by The Sunday Leader, the Kalutara Municipal Council superintendent C.H Munasinghe said that after the area had been declared a tourist zone there was a proposal to build cabanas and have other facilities for the tourists including a beach area for nudists.
He said that last month the proposal was taken up for discussion with the relevant authorities and at that meeting the Kalutara Municipal Council had raised objections. When contacted a Director at Stardust Casino who is handling the Calido beach project, Wasantha de Silva, said that proposals regarding the tourist zone are still under discussion but refused to elaborate or comment further.
President of the Tourist Hotel Association of Sri Lanka Anura Lokuhetti said that he was not aware of a proposal to have a nudist beach area in Kalutara.
Speaking to reporters last year the then Ports and Aviation Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena had said that all unauthorized structures, including hotels, houses and industrial complexes, erected on beaches in Kalutara would be demolished to construct the Calido Coastal Gardens.
Abeygunawardena had said that during the first phase of the project the Calido Coastal Line in Kalutara would be converted into a Coastal Garden to promote tourism, provide recreational facilities to the public, open new avenues for income generation and prevent the illegal activities that are taking place.