Presidential Ambitions & Development Programmes Commence at the Gateway!
Posted on June 29th, 2009

Prof. Hudson McLean

The following article is extremely relevant in light of the process of development expected by the citizens of Sri Lanka.

The airport ordeal – Promoting tourism or Chasing tourists away.
Posted on June 28th, 2009
By Tissa Jayaweera Chairman International Chamber of Commerce

Whilst the President is now moving forward on normalising the life in the country, in a way the SLDF is correct in their professional conduct in trying to maintain security in strategic locations such as the Katunayake International Airport.

Said that, its upto the Commanding Officer to brief the soldiers on their conduct, protocol and approach towards the passengers, whether they are domestic or foreign.

At this precise moment, Sri Lanka and its travellers need the presence of the SLDF, with a strict Code of Conduct, with polite helpfulness bundled in.

After a 30 year bloody war, the soldiers were briefed to behave in a strict military fashion.

Sri Lanka, simultaneously need the foreign exchage brought in by the foreign visitors.  If the visitors are put through the grinding mill, pushed to the limits of tolerance, the unpleasant memories will live long after they arrive in their homelands.

This is certainly bad for the Tourism business, which Sri Lanka is desperately trying to recapture.  Bad news travels fast!

The other group of visitors, such as potential investors are Prime Beef.

Most of them are running to a strict schedule during a global economic crisis. Man-handling them will make them forget Sri Lanka as an investment opportunity for a long while, when Sri Lanka desperately needs such economic goodwill.

But for heaven’s sake, do not blame the SLDF!  Educate them. Teach them the basics of civil life.

The Airport security detail should require specialized training, as well as infrastructure.

Identify the potential terror sources and determine the threat levels.

The logistical management at the International Gateway to Sri Lanka should take Top Priority.


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