Anura accuses Udaya of keeping him in the dark; breaching protocol
The dispute over the Tourist Board's involvement in the Shahrukh Khan concert entered a new phase with Tourism and Investment Promotion Minister Anura Bandaranaike, in a strongly worded letter, accusing Board Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara of having "deliberately kept him in the dark".

In the letter written in response to The Sunday Times article of December 19 titled "Udaya: Why was Anura unaware?" and addressed to Tourism Ministry Secretary Dr. P. Ramanujam, with a copy to Mr. Nanayakkara, the Minister said apart from there being an absolute breach of protocol, where a Chairman of a Board makes public statements on the conduct of a minister, Mr. Nanayakkara's behaviour to say the least is 'reprehensible.'

Responding to Mr. Nanayakkara's remarks that he was unaware "why Anura Bandaranaike was unaware of the Board's involvement," the Minister said the SLTB Chairman knows very well that he did not know anything about the Board's involvement because he was not kept informed at any stage about the event.

"All I knew was what was casually mentioned to me sometime ago by the (Tourism) Deputy Minister Arjuna Ranatunga that Shahrukh Khan might be coming here sometime in December. Beyond that I know nothing of the SLTB's involvement, for which the Chairman is completely responsible, as he did not keep me informed, at any stage regarding this visit," Mr. Bandaranaike said. He also said that if the Chairman had an iota of intelligence, or read the newspapers, he would have known that there was a growing antipathy to this event and that anything might have been possible.

"If he had contacted me, I would certainly have brought in the Police and had the necessary body searches done and given maximum security to all present, rather than handing over security to a dubious private security firm," Mr. Bandaranaike said. The minister also said that the Chairman could not absolve himself because it was with his participation, as SLTB Chairman, that this unfortunate tragedy occurred.

In addition, Mr. Nanayakkara's indiscretion, by making statements to the press, regarding his minister, will be dealt with, appropriately in the very near future, Mr. Bandaranaike warned in the letter.

The Sunday Times learns that Mr. Nanayakkara has replied to the letter and has maintained that that the SLTB's involvement was merely assisting the organisers of the concert by helping them contact the right people.

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