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No-Confidence Motion against SLTDA Chief Kimarli Fernando!

In February, LNW revealed that Kimarli Fernando, the notorious Chairwoman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), who is accused of contempt of court for violating an interim injunction issued by the Colombo District Court regarding a questionable land, withdrew her appeal to fly overseas amidst objections. LNW was also the first to disclose that Fernando abused her authority as the SLTDA Chairwoman over the land in question in a bid to rule her nepotism whilst disregarding the court orders issued in this regard.

Kimarli, also known as the notorious Dilmah Daughter-in-Law, used her political and family power to misuse assets belonging to the SLTDA in the most despicable way possible. We have previously divulged how Fernando had distorted decisions of the judiciary via private news agencies favourable to her by circulating fake news detailing the trial.

As of now, Fernando’s conduct is largely being denounced by the top figures of the industrial sector, where the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce stressed that she should be removed from her post as the SLTDA Chairwoman immediately, in a letter addressed to the President dated April 20, 2022.

No-Confidence Motion against Kimarli Fernando!

Signed by Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka (TAASL), Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference and Event Organizers (SLAPCEO) and Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism Sri Lanka (ASMET), the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in its letter addressed to President Rajapaksa unanimously concludes that Fernando should be removed from the post of Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) on the following grounds and that a more competent person should be appointed to the post.

  1. Creating division amongst the industry stakeholders and disrupting the harmony of the industry, whereas the Chairperson should have steered the industry and created a unified front to generate the much-needed foreign exchange for the country
  2. Complete absence of leadership and direction in a time of need when the industry is faced with calamity:
    E.g. 1) Chairperson’s complete absence during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020 and 2) During the current fuel and power crisis, Chairperson has not taken any action to assist the industry
  3. Does not provide direction and collaboration with the industry stakeholders to resolve problems that are currently faced
  4. Chairperson lacks initiative and discourages avenues that promote the country and revenue to the destination.
    E.g. The Chairperson’s letter of request to the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Moscow to discourage Russian Tour Operators from promoting Sri Lanka
  5. Lack of initiative to commence the Global Promotional Campaign approved in January 2020
  6. Initiating a new Tourism Policy with UNDP for a 95% private sector driven industry without consulting the private sector
  7. Instantaneous change of the Tourism Act without informing the stakeholders and without incorporating the input of the industry stakeholders
  8. Forming multiple insignificant associations that do not represent the industry’s financial contributors (those that pay the Tourism Development Levy) with the main intention to dilute the representation of the apex bodies of the industry to get the new Tourism Act approved
  9. Approval of inconsistent Board minutes that do not detail the actual facts discussed which misleads the decision-makers
  10. Disclosing confidential information such as Minister’s expenditure, ministerial land application, requests on social media, bringing disrepute to the Government
  11. Wasting TDL money on private counsel for court cases that have arisen due to a conflict of interest with the position held as the Chairperson.
    E.g. Contempt of Court charges related to the leasing of land in Yala adjoining Wild Coast Tented Lodge which is a property owned by the Chairperson’s spouse’s family.
  12. Lack of interest and initiative to work with the national carrier to promote the destination

Having the above concerns taken into consideration, the CCC also concludes in its letter that working with Fernando over the past two years and observing her role as the Chairperson of the SLTDA, it is beyond doubt that she has failed to provide the leadership needed to achieve the goals of the Tourism Industry.

Previous reports:

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