Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando issued an apology to the Maldives for a controversial statement made at an international travel and trade fair, claiming his comments were “taken out of context and misrepresented.”
"My statement made in Berlin regarding the beautiful Maldive islands has been taken out of context and been misrepresented on social media. I wish to clarify that we work together with our neighbour on tourism and would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused," Fernando tweeted following the backlash he received for his comments made about the Maldives at the ITB Berlin in Germany.
Fernando addressing the forum in Germany said that Sri Lanka had much more to offer tourists in comparison to the Maldives. "I know lots of people go to the Maldives. Maldives just has the beach -- I'm not criticizing -- but you stay there for five days, you get fed up of it. That's it. You're just an island, you are caught up in one place,” he said. The Minister's comment attracted anger from Maldivians including politicians and influential figures.
“Sure if you cannot swim, dive or know what biodiversity is or have no interest in a civilization that has remained at peace for at least 4 millennia, yes, you will get bored in 5 days! Zero sum marketing is an own goal!” Ahmed Shaheed, a former UN Special Rapporteur responded on Twitter. Meanwhile, Maldives Parliamentarian Mohamed Shifau invited the Sri Lankan Tourism Minsiter to visit his country and experience world class hospitality. “I invite Sri Lankan tourism minister to Maldives and experience the world class hospitality and enjoy the white sand and rich blue sea with colorful coral gardens. Make sure you have enough time,” Shifau tweeted. Interestingly, during the three-day programme in Germany, Minister Fernando was photographed with the President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamad Solih, the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives. The Minister did not respond to several attempts by the Daily Mirror to further clarify his apology. (Kalani Kumarasinghe)
Truth Tuesday, 14 March 2023 09:13 AM
Minister, please note the jasmine flower of our neighbour too has a pleasant fragrance.
Ranjit Perera Tuesday, 14 March 2023 09:17 AM
This is a question of ethics one is upholding This gentleman displays ignorance of ground reality upon which our advantage is built in comparison to geographical location in region and global context without being country specific who is one of our immediate neighbors and genuine brother to us.
Ozman Tuesday, 14 March 2023 01:05 PM
What the Minister said was facts . He apologizing will get more publicity for Sri Lanka Tourism. Definitely Sri Lanka is a great tourist destination.
Concerned citizen Tuesday, 14 March 2023 01:08 PM
Harin has no clue what he was talking about. No common sense.Though this guy has been given a ministerial portfolio, he doesn't know what to say n what not to say. It's shows his inexperience n immaturity. We have such idiots who can only shout n use their privilege in parliament. We need intellectuals who can run the country wisely n not to play with the money of the tax payers.
Maqs Tuesday, 14 March 2023 01:22 PM
When fools become ministers, these are expected. No surprise at all
NSina Tuesday, 14 March 2023 01:30 PM
So my father said!!
Karalasingam Sivalingam Tuesday, 14 March 2023 01:39 PM
Whoever makes a statement Sri Lanka is yet the paradise of the Indian ocean, Maldives could offer beaches SriLanka too has super beaches, cold,hot, medium temperature zones to meet the expectations of tourists from any part of the world.
Punchi Tuesday, 14 March 2023 01:47 PM
Small Singapore that has Tamil, English, Mandarin and Malay as official languages and Malay as the national language and has no ancient Buddhist heritage sites has several times million more tourists than combined those visiting our Buddha foremost Sanga ruled paradise and Islam foremost money laundering Maldives where all Christians were made non citizens
SS Travels Tuesday, 14 March 2023 02:09 PM
It’s about having zero knowledge about Global Tourism. Sad such a high stake authority is in such hands. Tourism was our 3 rd highest foreign income. We are sitting on a goldmine. Some are warming their butts at state expense. What plans have they of regional Tourism I wonder for the next 5 years!
Shanaka Fernando Tuesday, 14 March 2023 02:15 PM
The kind of athlete that relies on tripping up the other competitors to win a race
Sangaralijngham Tuesday, 21 March 2023 10:01 AM
Words must be thought listen and brought out.misleading speech creat anxiety to all bring illwell hatred by others.not big but lanky not any bigger but both has many pleasant things for visitors to cherish.share be tolerant understanding.tourism create social prestige welcome visitors support them don’t exploit them.
Add commentComments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.
Sri Lanka boasts of a 2500 year old Buddhist culture. This culture also inclu
Abortion is illegal in Sri Lanka unless the life of the mother is at risk. Re
Recently, the “Country Strategic Plan (CSP) for Sri Lanka” was approved b
Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s controversial statement in the Par
27 May 2023
27 May 2023
27 May 2023
27 May 2023 - 3 - 1453
26 May 2023 - 25 - 6774
26 May 2023 - 3 - 832
26 May 2023 - 1 - 1260
Name - Reply Comment