Army Commander slams ‘third party’ hotel stories | Daily News

Army Commander slams ‘third party’ hotel stories

No ‘third party’ contacting anyone regarding hotel accommodation for quarantine purposes, when arriving from overseas should be given a single cent, as we have already detected and dealt with certain unscrupulous elements who were resorting to such corrupt practices in the recent past during the second Covid wave,” Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said.

He said that such practices would not be tolerated at the expense of the Army's image as it is a credible organization which maintains the highest standards. “What we expect is to get those arriving from overseas a fair deal with decent meals, full care and accommodation at the lowest possible rate.”

General Shavendra Silva, Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander made this statement during a meeting with hotel owners, hoteliers and hotel executives at the NOCPCO on Tuesday (12). The Army Commander thanked the Chairman and Executives of Hotel Dolphin who volunteered to give their hotel free of charge for state officials, Tri Servicemen and other stakeholders for quarantine purposes even for a few days, no sooner the decision was taken to establish centres, on the directives of the President early in March last year.

“Hotel Citrus also offered their premises but we only used Hotel Dolphin during March-April during the initial stages.

“We are very grateful for such gestures and commend them for their generosity. Similarly, the Jetwing group was generous to quarantine a group of 44 students at our request, allocating 44 rooms after the second wave struck. There had been instances where certain parties had approached hoteliers in the past, but there is no room now for any of those practices in your trade,” he assured them, requesting that such attempts, if any, should be immediately brought to the notice of the Army.

The whole of the quarantine mechanism has many facets such as screening, airport formalities, transport, selection of state or paid quarantining, passage of medical staff, Tri Servicemen and other health workers to such locations, etc., which is a daunting mechanism at work, he said.

“Preference was given to hotels along the coastal belt from Negombo to Tissamaharama due to closeness to both airports and more importantly, most of those arrivals expect to stay in nearby hotels for quarantining purposes. At first, we expect the selected hotels to be filled to capacity and we have formulated the mechanism to that effect.

“However, as numbers began to rise, we selected you all and wanted you to ensure the best service for their money at lowest possible rates,” the Army Commander told hoteliers.