USAID faces legal action over Trinco hotel

calamander uaiadCalamander Group, the operators of Calamander Unawatuna Beach and Calamander Lake Gregory, have threatened to file legal action against USAID over a boutique hotel in Trincomalee.

The Calamander Group said in a statement that the new hotel and its owners have nothing to do with the Calamander Group.

A spokesman for Calamander stated: “The Calamander Group has no association of any sort with the boutique resort calling itself Calamander Bay”.

The Singapore based Calamander Group is a prominent major investor in Sri Lanka in the hospitality, food and beverage, and real estate sectors.

In hotels, it owns and operates two properties under the Calamander brand name – Calamander Unawatuna Beach (the rebuilt former UBR), and Calamander Lake Gregory in Nuwara Eliya.  The Group is not present on the East Coast and has no current plans to be so.  The Group, on behalf of its hotels, will be serving notice to its travel agencies, trade, and other distribution agents, which number over 300 and this will clarify the facts to ensure there is no confusion.

The Calamander Group, established in 2006 and patented owner of the ‘Calamander’ brand name, announced that it would be taking legal action against all parties concerned trading under the name ‘Calamander Bay’.

The Group’s spokesmen added “We were also surprised to see press reports that the financial investors and backers of this illegally named hotel include USAID and the Bank of Ceylon.  Given the US Government is the global flag-bearer for protecting copyright and intellectual property, and BOC is the Republic’s best known state owned institution, we find it shocking that they would support such an entity, and if proven that they have funded this hotel, they will be subject to the same legal action as the hotel itself.”  According to many press reports in January this year, Calamander Bay was ‘built with a generous grant from the USAID with the aim of creating employment for local youth and financed by Bank of Ceylon’. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Go back to basics: You cannot make a noun or pro-noun such as ‘Calamander’ (name of a tree), or ‘Teak’, or ‘Cinnamon’, or ‘Dog’, or ‘Cat’ into a protected copyright trade name or protected brand. Trade names and brands are also not patents which are for actual inventions. These people do not seem to know company law.

    • Kevin,
      Totally agree with you! They really need to learn their basics on copyright infringements and company law!

      • Lawyers will make money from the owners of the hotel company (and public shareholders too if there are any) for a pointless action that is a dead end. USAID will have no problem as it is US Government and have very deep pockets. Somebody needs to speak to the Directors of the hotel group who seem to be more mentally hurt than sensible.

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