SJB MP Patali Champaka Ranawaka yesterday responded to The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka’s (THASL) criticism of his allegation that the resumption of tourism aggravated the present third wave of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka via a statement.
Following is his statement.
“This is in response to the article carried by the Daily FT today (24 June) titled ‘THASL rejects Patali’s allegation of tourism aggravating COVID’.
“I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that I, under no circumstance, called into question the role of the THASL. However, what I did say was that there were several very pertinent questions regarding the roles of SLTDA Chair Kimarli Fernando and Sri Lanka’s ex-Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga. We believe that the actions of both Kimarli and Weeratunga have acted as reagents in further aggravating Sri Lanka’s already worsening COVID-19 epidemic.
“Therefore, Weeratunga and Fernando should give factual answers to the following:
How many tourists were flown to Sri Lanka from Ukraine?
Where were they subjected to PCR & quarantine? And the total numbers?
How many Indian tourists arrived in Sri Lanka following the travel ban and how many of them were subjected to quarantine and PCR?
How much revenue did the Government generate through the quarantine process of tourists?
“It is imperative that this information is released to the public domain as soon as possible, since the right to information is intrinsic where every citizen of this nation is concerned.
“Sri Lanka is an island nation which has a population of 22 million. A considerable number of citizens at present have died as a result of having contracted COVID-19. According to the latest projections, this number is expected to further increase in the coming days, given the Government’s poor management. Countries of the world that successfully managed the COVID-19 crisis did so by shutting down border access and closing down airports. Given the situation, we cannot let a dollar hungry few wage against the lives of countrymen, women and children.” Original Article : https://www.ft.lk/front-page/Patali-clarifies-allegation/44-719639