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Sri Lanka demolishes seaside hotels amid protests
Associated Press
2011-12-13 10:22 PM
Sri Lanka's coast conservation officials are demolishing hotels and restaurants that had encroached into protected areas on a famous beachfront.

Bulldozers started demolishing the buildings Tuesday amid protests by owners and tourists at Unawatuna.

The authorities had demarcated 42 buildings as illegal constructions according to a 1981 conservation law.

Officials say the business owners ignored several notices to move out by themselves. The owners complain they were being hit hard as they were being deprived of business during a festive season when many tourists are expected.

The southern Sri Lankan beach has long had hotels up to the waterfront and is popular for diving, sunbathing and beach parties.

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