Harassment of tourists in Mirissa: Police expedite investigations | Sunday Observer

Harassment of tourists in Mirissa: Police expedite investigations

The surf bar and restaurant in Mirissa, where eight Dutch tourists were assaulted over the weekend, was not registered with the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB), as stipulated by the Tourism Act No. 38 of 2005, a spokesman for the SLTB said.

According to the spokesman, the SLTB will take legal action against the establishment through its newly formed enforcement unit if they continue to operate without a valid licence. Meanwhile, it has also been revealed that the establishment had obtained a liquor licence despite being an unregistered tourist establishment.

While Police investigations into the incident have been expedited at the request of the Ministry of Law and Order as well as the Inspector General of Police, the SLTB has offered to sponsor the complainants to revisit Sri Lanka to assist the Police in the investigations.

“If they can identify the suspects we will sponsor them to return to the country” the spokesman confirmed.

Meanwhile, the Police claim following this incident, they have received a complaint from an Australian tourist of a similar incident at the same establishment.

According to sources from the Police tourist division, the tourist claimed females were harassed at a beach party held previously at the same establishment which goes by the name of Water Creatures Restaurant. While the restaurant claims the alleged incident on April 7, had occurred on the beach and not within the restaurant, Police say eye witnesses who have come forward refute this.

According to the complainants, the females in the group were sexually harassed by a group of local men and they were later assaulted for speaking out against the harassment.

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