Sri Lanka President pledges to lift the tourism industry impacted by the terrorist attacks

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the government is working with an expansive responsibility to restore the tourism industry, leisure sector and other business sectors adversely impacted by the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.

The President said a cabinet subcommittee will also be appointed at the cabinet meeting tomorrow to look into the next steps to be taken to promote tourism.

The President also said that discussions will be held at the cabinet meeting tomorrow on providing relief including financial assistance under concessionary terms for the promotion of tourism.

President Sirisena made these remarks at a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat Monday with the businessmen in the tourism, hotels and other business sectors.

Expressing his views, the President stressed that terrorism can be defeated and will be defeated.

The President said the raids to suppress terrorism are successfully being carried out island wide and he has complete confidence in the security forces and the operations against terrorism are continuing without any recession.

“Therefore, no one should be unnecessarily worried, and all the activities of the country will take place normally from now on,” he said.

The President said if any area of the business sector needs security, the government is ready to implement a security plan and the government will continue to provide the necessary facilities and assistance to all in the business sector in order to rebuild their businesses.

He added that businesses are welcome to make any request personally to him and he expects to meet with the business community at least every two weeks until the activities are restored.

The President appreciating the contribution of the tourism industry to strengthen the national economy in the country expressed his regrets to the entire business community over the difficult situation they had to face due to the unfortunate incident.

“We should not point finger at each other during this fateful event the whole country had faced but should work together to bring the country back and commit to protect peace in the country,” the President said.

The business community also provided ideas and suggestions on the next steps to be taken to alleviating the adverse impact of the attacks on the country and to re-strengthen the businesses including the tourism industry and hotel sector.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ministers John Amaratunga, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Arjuna Ranatunga, Malik Samarawickrama, Eran Wickramaratne and Ranjith Aluvihare, President’s Secretary Udaya R Seneviratne and Secretary General of the National Economic Council Prof. Lalith Samarakoon were also present at the discussion.

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