‘Law and order improvement vital for stepped-up FDI’

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Dr. Dietmar Doering at the press conference

As a result of the lack of law and order in Sri Lanka, the country tends to lose an enormous amount of foreign direct investments which would otherwise come into the country, Asian German Sports Exchange Programme (AGSEP) founder and its Chief Executive Officer Dr. Dietmar Doering said.

"The recent violent incidents in Mirissa and Marawila against tourists and a tourist hotel respectively, give a bad signal for prospective tourists who want to visit and invest in Sri Lanka, Doering said at a press conference. The event was held Tuesday at Hotel Galadari. The title of the press conference was: 'Promoting tourism in Sri Lanka and the obstacles tourism promoters/investors are faced within achieving their obstacles'.

Doering, also the chairman of Aquarius Resorts Pvt Ltd, which is situated at Marawila, said that his hotel was attacked by a single person. When his officials lodged an entry with the police they did not take necessary action to arrest the person who attacked the hotel, he said.

'Police inaction is one of the major issues for the break down of law and order in the country, which might deter foreign tourists from visiting Sri Lanka., he said.

Doering said that law and order in a country is a must to promote tourism into the country. The attack on a Dutch tourist in Mirissa and the attack on his Marawila resort should prompt the government to take quick action to take the perpetrators to book by law enforcing bodies, he explained.

'Compared to other popular Asian tourist destinations, a report notes that Sri Lanka remains an under performing destination. According to statistics of annual tourist arrivals among Asian countries, while Thailand and Malaysia enjoy over 35 million and 26 million respectively, Vietnam has 10 million, Philippines five million and Laos three million. Sri Lanka is comparatively low with approximately two million only, he said.

Doering said that Sri Lanka could be promoted as a great tourist destination in the region but absence of law and order here would affect the sector.

He said that on the day his tourist resort was attacked, there were several prospective investors in the resort, but the incident deterred them from being in the hotel. "Because of these incidents Sri Lanka's loses millions in investment opportunities, he said.

"Sri Lanka is an island with 1300 kms of beautiful coastal land but unfortunately not a single Marina is available. However, in Croatia they have 60 Marina beaches in their limited beach area, he said.

Doering said that they are now in the process of investing for a US $ 150 million in a Marina at Marawila with luxury yachts,  two condominiums and hotels.

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