Friday 5 July 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

05 July  2019

Tourism Ownership
[While the figure is accurate, what the report failed to say is that the number of foreign tourists to Sri Lanka last month — 63,072 — is a 66 percent increase compared with the 37,802 visitors which the country received in May, which indicates it is on the mend.] Skift Article ‘What the Western Media Gets Wrong About Sri Lanka Tourism’
I was one of those who confirmed confidence in Sri Lanka through my visit in June. I rely on my own intuition about such issues. When a close relative asked me whether it was safe – my response was ‘need before safety’. The primary reason was the land matter in Colombo which was adjourned by the judge. Disappointed though I was – that was my reality. By now I have learnt to rely on my genuine contribution, do my best through due processes  and leave the rest to the Lord. I did likewise, when visiting Jaffna where I was able to boost the confidence of many workers including in the tourism industry but more importantly I was able to save a particular family that was on the verge of giving up on life itself.
As per the above article:
[ All of us are doing well and working hard to rebuild our industry which took a whack as we all know,” Hiran Cooray, chairman of Jetwing Symphony, told Skift.
Forward bookings for July and August for his Jetwing Hotels gives Cooray a reason to be cheerful.]
When I read the above, I thought of the Taxi Driver Vinod whose face beamed when he saw a coach at the entrance of Jetwing Jaffna. Vinod said ‘they have started coming again’. The ‘they’ included those from Southern Sri Lanka also. I confirmed that I also had already booked to come again soon. Such natural boost helps them project their own business income. It confirmed also – the narrowing of the ‘gap’ between Northerners and Southerners.
Jetwing is one of those institutions that has shared its ‘Commonness’ with Northern Sri Lanka by facilitating diversity to confirm the local culture – and at the same time promoted standard practices of global standards that one finds usually in Colombo private sector. In Colombo I spent time in such environments to invoke my feelings of ownership. In a strange way it felt that I was going back to my days of articleship at M/s Satchithananda Schokman Wijeyeratne & Co – Chartered Accountants. Back then I had to watch my budget but now I have to watch my health. In terms of economy the way the media compared  with past – mine was exponential progress. That is historic cost method.  Using Current cost method – I felt as comfortable in Colombo as I do in Coogee; NSW; Australia. I felt blessed when the staff at Galadari allocated room 906 to me. The significance of it is explained as follows:
[I asked the reception guy at Galadari Hotel in Colombo whether they had made a calculated decision to allocate room 906 to me? The young guy looked perplexed and said it was one of their better rooms! I explained to him that to me it was important to know because it was our home-unit number in Coogee; NSW. I felt blessed in terms of the feelings I had. The room is exceptionally good. More importantly, I felt that the hospitality industry was saying ‘thank you’ genuinely. I felt for the industry when it was badly hurt. Hence it felt as if I was being treated as family.
This is the second time I am staying at Galadari. The first time was in 2004 when I also was invited to participate in the 25th year anniversary celebrations of Airlanka / Sri Lankan Airlines. During the celebrations I protested against lack of appreciation for the pioneers who were not present. To me they, as my ancestors were part of me. I continue to attribute to them and keep them also  in mind whenever I make contributions to the National Carrier.] article of 24 June headed - SRI LANKA NEEDS A BELIEVER – at

To some this may seem like coincidence. But to me it was confirmation that my contribution over the years – to Tourism in Sri Lanka – including through the global standards I practice facilitate tourism at exponential rates of return. That is the deep value of ownership. Every member of the Sri Lankan Diaspora who attributes to the land through such feeling will likewise say ‘thank you’ through coming back to that land and living there at global standards. Showing others through demands to change policy is truly secondary to this. Gandhi confirmed that by following the law and  truth – even when he lived as part of the masses. We have to become that group to identify with its needs. This can be as a customer or supplier.
Sri Lankans are by now conditioned to bomb attacks. If they are able to go about their daily life – that would be the best way to invoke tourists. Most Western nations including Australia and New Zealand now consider bombings as part of regular risk in daily life. They would not be put off for long by such attacks. I know I was not. That confirms that I am Sri Lankan and not foreigner.

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