Prasanna denies limitations in BIA lounges | Sunday Observer

Prasanna denies limitations in BIA lounges

Minister of Tourism and Aviation Prasanna Ranatunga yesterday vehemently denied a news report on social media recently, attributed to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, claiming that he had directed the limitations in the VIP/ VVIP Lounges at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

The FB story posted on December 2, 2019, said (inter alia) that the President, on arrival at the BIA from his maiden state visit to India, has directed the BIA officials to limit the use of the VIP/VVIP lounge and not to allow VIPs and VVIPs (which includes himself!) If that was really required under exceptional circumstances and justifiable reasons, these two lounges, will be available under exceptional circumstances, but, strictly on the payment of US $ 1,000.

The report had also claimed that the President had issued such a directive to the officials of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd on his arrival from New Delhi on the completion of his official state visit to India.

Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, when contacted by the Sunday Observer denied it and claimed it was an outright falsehood. “If there was such a decision, the Government would either have issued an official statement through a news release or had a news conference, the Minister said. Meanwhile, AASL Duty Manager Saman Perera said the BIA had nothing in writing yet either from the Government or the Ministry. “Right now, we are going by the Diplomatic and Political protocols that we receive from Embassies and Parliament, he told the Sunday Observer.