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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2492

Tourists who dearly loved Sri Lanka

By S.H.Moulana

A renowned New York – based graphic designer had this to say after his extended tour of Sri Lanka: ‘I am not a religious person myself, but I did look for nature.

I had spent my first Sabbatical in New York City. Looked for something different for the second one.

Europe and the US didn’t really feel enticing because I knew them too well. So, Asia it was.

The most beautiful landscapes I had seen in Asia were Sri Lanka and Bali.’

Giving strength to what the New Yorker had to say the Melbourne based Lonely Planet, a widely published travel guide book has ranked Sri Lanka the top country for travel in 2019.

In the latter part of December last year, I received an e-mail from my former boss, the retired vice president of the famous InterContinental hotel chain, Raymond George Khalife.

In that he expressed his intention to undertake a tour of Sri Lanka for a duration of two weeks with his wife.

He wanted my advice on the places he should visit.

To the best of my knowledge I wrote to him about the places he should not miss.

He has just returned to his base in Cairo and wrote to me saying ‘Dear Moulana, Just back from a two-week tour of your beautiful country, Sri Lanka.

We went all over, to Anuradhapura, Kandalama, Kandy Nuwara Eliya, Tangalle, Galle and Negombo.

We enjoyed so much the scenery, mountains, tea plantations, beaches and most of all the kindness of the people of Sri Lanka, which was not new to me since I have known many people there including yourself and your family.

My wife and me are planning another trip there. This time with the children and mainly to Anuradhapura and Tangalle.’

I sincerely regretted my inability to be there in my home country during his visit but assured him I will do everything possible during his repeat visit.

Raymond George Khalife had a great liking for the Sri Lankan staff who worked under him at Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel which was the first ever five-star hotel in Saudi Arabia in early nineteen seventies.

Out of the 500 odd staff Sri Lankans made nearly 25 percent of them. I devoted thirty years of my life to that highly popular hotel until I got involved in a commercial enterprise.

‘RGK’ as he is fondly known to all was highly respected for his outstanding leadership and the kindness he showed to his subordinates, he treated everyone alike. He quickly rose to the position of vice president of the chain.

I will never forget the reception he gave me and my wife when we visited him in his Cairo office after his promotion.

We are eagerly waiting for his repeat visit to our beloved home country, which he loves so much.

- Asian Tribune -

Tourists who dearly loved Sri Lanka
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