Southern hoteliers want Sri Lankan government to drive off tourists’ fears

Dec 27, Colombo: President of Tangalle Tourist Hoteliers Association which represents 48 registered and 16 unregistered hotels, Keerthi Wedarachchi says that the tourist industry in the Hambantota District has been severely affected by the brutal killing of a British tourist allegedly by a gang led by the Chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha.

Khuram Shaikh Zaman, 32, a British tourist from Manchester died on Christmas Eve after he and his colleague, 23-year old Russian national Victoria Alexandrovna were attacked by the gang.

The female victim is in intensive care at the Karapitiya Hospital with serious injuries.

The official pointed out that there were about 450 tourists in some hotels before the incident but the number declined to less than 200 after the incident.

He further criticized the authorities for not initiating legal action against the culprits immediately.

The tourists remaining in hotels in the area have restricted their mobility, especially, at night and it has affected the festivities, he added.

The official urged the authorities to act immediately to rectify the ill effects of the incident and guarantee the safety of the tourists for the sake of the industry.

Four men, including the main suspect Sampath Chandra Pushpa Vidanapathirana, 24, the chairman of Tangalle village council, have been arrested in connection with the incident.

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