Sri Lanka’s Galle literary festival starts Wednesday

Jan 18, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s HSBC Galle Literary festival kicks off Wednesday with award winning writers, historians and poets from Canada, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Palestine, Singapore, United States and Sri Lanka taking part. Organizers are expecting more visitors to the festival this year with a new expressway cutting down travel time to almost a third and visitors no longer dependent on accommodation around Galle to attend the festival.

Festival director Amrita Pieris says more than 4,000 tickets have been sold already, higher than last year. The event with Richard Dawkins has already been sold out though tickets are available to many of the events in the Hall de Galle which can hold up to 350 people.

Galle is a former Dutch Fort city with a historic fort still intact.

The festival features several panel discussions, including on post war Sri Lanka.

It has several outreach programs including a visit by festival authors to war torn Jaffna and book readings for less privileged school children in Galle.

The festival which runs till January 22, starts off Thursday afternoon featuring Sri Lankan writes Roshi Fernando, Ashok Ferry and Romesh Gunasekera.

A this year’s festival, the sixth year it is be