John seeks meeting with IGP on harassment of tourists

John AmaratungaMinister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga has written to the Minister of Law and Order, Sagala Ratnayake requesting for an urgent meeting with the police to address the mounting number of complaints of harassment of tourists.

“Officials of various associations and bodies involved in tourism development have brought to my attention the increasing trend of harassment of tourists and also many instances of physical harm caused to tourists. These acts are brazenly carried out by touts and unauthorized tour guides in the absence of a police presence,” Minister Amaratunga said in his letter to Minister Ratnayake.

Minister Amaratunga has noted that there is a proliferation of touts and unauthorized tour guides in the areas frequented by tourists which has become a menace to the tourist trade.

The Minister has stated that immediate action is necessary on the part of the police to address this issue and has called for a meeting with the DIGs and SSPs of the areas most affected.

The most affected areas have been identified as Mt. Lavinia, Wadduwa, Kalutara, Beruwala, Bentota, Ahungalla, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Unawatuna, Weligama, Mirissa, Polhena, Tangalle, Negombo, Hendala, Marawila, Arugam Bay, Nilaveli, Passikudah, Kandy and Sigiriya.

Minister Amaratunga has requested the Law and Order Minister to bring this matter to the attention of the Inspector General of Police.

He has requested a meeting with the IGP as soon as possible so as to have the necessary safeguards in place before the winter tourist season, which is the peak tourist season for Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. There is a special section the police called Tourist Police
    perhaps everybody knows of this.
    I know they just sit in their offices and kill time and would occasionally go out to check if everything is ok. They also have their informers in the event of a complaint by a tourist.
    Touts and guides are a nuisance and work hand in hand with “other” elements and also with the police.
    Sadly 80percent of the police have a tarnished image as corrupt, conniving and unreliable whilst the rest have no choice but to carry on for want of a job.
    The Sri Lanka Police have a lot to do to win the hearts and support of the public at large with a dedicated service to the country and citizens.

    • Every basket has good and bad eggs. Police is not exception. I think there are more good Officers.They must be allowed to do their job without outside intervention.Police commission must make them more efficient without biased decisions.No top police officer or top State employees should be employed in any capacity after retirement. Those expecting posts after retirement do anything for people with authority or influence. This can be seen not only in Police but even in State Banks. State Banks subsidiaries have been created to accommodate such people.

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