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Sri Lanka's first six-star hotel to accommodate tourists by 2011

The work on Sri Lanka's first six star hotel project has kicked off in the northern Kappitiya area and it is expected to accommodate tourists by November 2011, the government said Saturday in a statement.

The Department of Government Information said in the statement that the laying of the foundation stone for the hotel took place on Dajbay Island in Kalpitiya, about 165 km north of the capital Colombo.

The project, expected to cost 130 million U.S. dollars, is a joint venture between Sri Lanka and Bahrain.

This will be an environmental friendly project with 420 suites, said the statement.

Tourists have the opportunity of viewing the large corals which span about 400 square miles (about 1,036 sq km) near the islets.

Sri Lanka's tourism industry, one of the island's main foreign exchange earners, is recovering from the aftermath of the armed conflict between the government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.

(Xinhua News Agency September 14, 2009)