Sri Lanka Offers Beaches, Buddhas and Bombs

To hear Renton de Alwis tell it, you'd think Sri Lanka's bloody civil war was as good as over. As Tamil Tigers and government soldiers slog on in a war that has stretched 18 years, the vast chairman of the Ceylon Tourist Board is bursting with goodwill, a giggling giant of peace in a balmy, sheet-like shirt and Colossus' sandals. "We are blossoming, we are blooming," he bellows. "We are very, very optimistic of finding a solution to our problems and achieving a breakthrough. Eighteen years of nonsense is enough."

As suits a man of such enormous good...

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