Right Of Reply

Tourism Minister Clarifies
No extension Granted

This refers to the recent article in the press which attempts to create the impression that I dissolved the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau to prevent an investigation against Director General, Gajanayake
This is totally false and there is no truth in it what so ever. All the boards in my Ministry were dissolved at the same time in order for me to reconstitute the boards to bring in the right mix of skills to drive the government’s agenda into the next decade. I have at no stage given an extension to Gajanayake, neither have I appointed him. In addition, there are legal obligations in employment contracts that a government has to comply with. Moreover I am an Attorney- at- Law and we follow certain procedures in the practice of our profession.
I have requested the secretary of my ministry to conduct an independent audit on the affairs of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau and submit a report to me immediately. Necessary action will be taken based on the findings. I have also asked my office to conduct an investigation as to how confidential board papers were leaked from the bureau into the public domain in order for me to take necessary action according to the law. This type of engineered leaks by disgruntled elements will not help Sri Lanka tourism to grow and expand. Therefore, as we prepare for our next phase of growth, I appeal to all our stakeholders to focus on the big picture and work together for the best interest of the industry.

John Amaratunga MP
Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Affairs

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