Monday, December 26, 2011
A tourist is killed on Christmas Eve and there is no response from the Govt. The LTTE never killed a tourist, but a friend of the President has.
The manner in which the Government responds to the murder of a tourist is an indication of how serious the Govt. is about developing the Industry. It is obvious that in Sri Lanka actions do not follow the words. There is no follow up to this serious incident and we have not had any comment from either Chairman of the Tourism Promotion Authority nor from the Minister of Tourism, Basil Rajapakse.
To add to the incident, where accidents can happen, it was compounded by the use of a T56 weapon and the Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha is accused of harming them with a sharp weapon and the use of the firearm. The President’s home is in this area and the accused Sampath Vidanapathirana is a friend of Chamal and Shashindra Rajapakse as well as the President. They have named 11 suspects, but the fact they have not been able to apprehend these known people is in itself a problem, as they are possibly using their influence with the President to do a deal, to exonerate them and implicate some other innocent party with the connivance of the police or get the police to issue a report implicating the dead man with the blame. “dead men don’t talk’
The eyewitness of the incident, the girl friend of the dead man is undergoing treatment for serious injuries and she MUST be offered independent police protection. There is no telling what these thug PS Chairman can do to cover up the incident. This does not bode well for law and order and worse for the reputation of the tourist industry, which the Govt. is hoping will grow exponentially.
When justice is not seen to be done, it is a huge issue about the actions of the Government of Sri Lanka. They appear to be bent on destroying the future of this country either by design, by installing thugs to positions of authority, to reinforce a dictatorship, or by inaction which indicates a poor understanding of what’s needed, when an incident such as this occurs and the perception of business as usual then becomes a deterrent to the growth of the Industry. This slur on the industry by its very proponents is an indication of their incompetence and inability to govern.
This is an opportunity for the Opposition in Sri Lanka to make political capital of the facts as stated above, and then force the Government into a corner to come out with a statement or some form of immediate action against those implicated. We cannot permit this sort of behavior to go on, without any action on the part of those in the industry who are concerned that all the hard work by the industry is being compromised by the actions and inaction of the State.