Army Commander General Shavendra Silva has responded to allegations raised with regard to third-party involvement when obtaining private hotels for quarantine purposes.
During a meeting with hotel owners and hoteliers, the head of the Covid Task Force advised the group to refrain from paying ‘any outside third-party, if any, who reach out for accommodation of foreign arrivals in the hotels for quarantine purposes’.
Stating that payments for obtaining such openings for hotels must be discouraged, General Shavendra Silva said the Military has prevented some ‘unscrupulous’ elements who were resorting to such corrupt practices in the recent past after the 2nd wave of COVID-19 broke out.
“The Military will not tolerate such practices at the expense of the Army image since it is a credible organization of the highest standards. What we want is to get those arrivals a fair deal with decent meals, full care and accommodation at the lowest rate possible,” he said.
Pointing out that there had been instances where ‘interested parties’ had approached hoteliers in the past, the Army Commander said there is no room, now left for any of those practices in the trade, and requested the group to immediately notify the Military of any such attempts.
“The Army does not have any personal agendas whatsoever and what we expect from you is the provision of decent meals and proper accommodation at reasonable rates to those checking in for quarantine. If you all can further bring down those rates, it is so much the better and I believe small hotels below 5-star level could certainly go for such reductions, “he urged.
Providing telephone numbers and particulars of several responsible Senior Officers, engaged in quarantine operations, General Shavendra Silva further advised any hotelier inconvenienced by so called ‘third’ parties pressurizing or demanding money or bribes for facilitation of arrivals in your hotels, to get in touch with those nominated responsible Officers and inform them immediately with details.
“I reiterate firmly that you all should not at all give a single cent to any third party for facilitation of arrivals into your hotels. We are very transparent and accountable for all what our organization fulfills on behalf of the public and there are no hidden agendas behind our well-defined practices. Neither our troops nor our coordinating officers of high integrity would resort to such practices and tarnish the image of this organization at all. Therefore, please ensure any information that regards ‘Army involvement’ in such malpractices be brought to our notice at the earliest, ” he reiterated. (NewsWire)