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John says nothing personal in seeking Udaya’s resignation

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 12 January 2018 00:02


Tourism Minister John Amaratunga yesterday issued a clarification on the Daily FT article titled ‘Industry up in arms over John’s move to oust Tourism Board Chief’ published yesterday.

I would like to set the record straight that the Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Mr. Udaya Nanayakkara, was asked to resign from his post by 10 January 2018 in order for me as the Minister in charge of the subject of tourism to facilitate the immediate restructuring of the bureau in keeping with the twin requirements of good governance and a Tourism Strategic Plan 2020.

My quest for restructuring required the resignation of Mr. Nanayakkara which was further necessitated by allegations pertaining to the non-adherence of financial regulations and internal management procedures within the SLTPB.

While I have no personal reason in seeking Mr. Nanayakkara’s resignation, it was done purely based on the reasons mentioned above, in the best interest of Sri Lanka Tourism. 

I recall that his contribution to Sri Lanka Tourism during his brief stint at the bureau was appreciated by me in the same letter sent to him on Monday, 8 January 2017.

It is appropriate to place on record that the lack of in-house talent and various other impediments have prevented the successful rollout of many planned campaigns. However, a short-term campaign is expected to be launched by February. This will be followed by the digital campaign and global advertising campaign. 

My ministry is also highly focused on achieving targets set out in the Tourism Strategic Plan 2020 which is being driven by the Hon. Prime Minister himself.

Despite the many events that affected tourism last year and Sri Lanka having got the highest tourist arrivals, it is my personal belief that we fell short of our potential to attract a greater number of visitors. Therefore it is my prerogative to take whatever measures I see necessary to address the situation.






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