Sri Lankan police have made four arrests after a group of foreign tourists were assaulted by locals in Mirissa on Sunday, as they resisted attempts to sexually assault the women in the group.
“We walked towards the exit of the beach when we saw local guys running towards us,” a 19-year-old Dutch tourist told the Daily Mirror. “One guy we were with got punched to the ground and was repeatedly kicked and punched by 5 or 6 guys at the same time, all of these guys had been in the Surf Bar and Restaurant before.”
A female tourist described how a local man assaulted her friend, “pulled her hair back and punched her in the back of the head”. “A group of four men approached me and told me to come with them one of them was insisting that he would "stay in my bed tonight",” she added. The victim and her friend were then attacked once more by the group.
An eyewitness to the incident told Daily Mirror that the local men “were like animals”. “They attacked ladies like in a boxing game. We could not do anything because they threatened us asking why are you looking at this. Mirissa is not a safe place.”
Sexual assaults on tourists were common in Mirissa, the Daily Mirror added, noting that most incidents go unreported.
“These are tourists and they don’t want to go through the entire ordeal of the legal process in Sri Lanka,” an owner of one of the properties in Mirissa told Daily Mirror. “They are here for a short time and therefore the incidents often go unreported.”