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‘Attempted rape’ of Swedish tourist adds to Sri Lanka’s woes

5 teenagers have been produced before a court in Negombo after they were alleged to have attempted to rape a 23-year old Swedish tourist whilst drunk.

Further details of the incident have been held back by the authorities according to journalist Prasad Purnimal Jayamanne, over fears that it will badly affect the tourist industry on the island.

The incident follows the murder of 27-year old British tourist Kuram Shaikah Zamanon Christmas Eve, where his partner 24-year old Victoria Alexandrovnaw was also badly injured and alleged to have been sexually assaulted.

Superintendent of Police Ajith Rohana stated that,

“We were informed that there were no cloths on the Russian female when she was admitted to the hospital. However, we are still waiting to see the medical reports including DNA tests”.

An eyewitness, who described the incident, said that the attack invovled "an AK-47 or a machine gun", while another said,

"Given that a local politician involved is terrifying and a number of people appeared to have access to firearms, I would think local people would be extremely scared about speaking out."

Four men have been arrested in connection with the incident, including Sampath Chandra Pushpa Vidanapathirana, 24,  Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and associate of the Rajapakse family.

Following the murder, tourists have started to leave the resort, with all festivities including New Years Eve parties cancelled.

President of the Tangalle Tourist Hoteliers Association Keerthi Priya Wedaarachchi said,

"It (tourism industry) has fallen once again."

"Almost all hotel rooms were full in Tangalle before the murder on the Christmas day."

“Normally, tourists move around and visit other venues in the area, but now they are afraid to go out in the night.”

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