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School girls are also lured into this work for the money.

Between 19, tourist arrivals increased by 100% and again from 250,164 in 1979 to 407,230 in 1982.The growth of tourism since then has been very rapid, although there were clear setbacks from 1983 onwards due to the separatist war that has gripped the country for over 17 years.The majority of the tourists to Sri Lanka come from Western Europe with Asia following in second place.Prostitution is illegal in Sri Lanka and has not become as developed an employment source as it is in Thailand or the Philippines.Female prostitutes operate undercover with a network of exploitative agents, pimps, and taxi drivers who take a significant share of their earnings.Considerable numbers come from North America and Australia while the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America register the smallest number of visitors.

While the Sri Lankan government planned tourist resorts and hotels with elite tourists in mind, the sixties brought in the low-budget or the "hippie" tourist who wandered along the coast seeking quieter and cheaper places.

They may have been abandoned by their husbands and left to feed three or more children.

They may be young women who have been subjected to rape or sexual abuse and then shunned by society.

In a society where strong patriarchal values keep women and girls under control, and men and boys have greater freedom of movement, it is perhaps inevitable that prostitution of boys is the faster developing trade in the sex industry.

With few legal controls and trivial punishments given to offending tourists and their local collaborators, child prostitution is breaking all limits.

When tourism was first imposed on villages, rich outsiders bought up the beachfront land for a pittance and put up hotels before the villagers could realize the value of the land.