Kirmali Fernando The Next To Go? Industry Experts Speculate SLTDA Chairperson's Stint May Not Last Long Following Exchange With Udayanga

Speculation is rife whether Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairperson Kirmali Fernando is the next senior government official to quit her post with the tourism chief coming under heavy fire from Udayanga Weeratunga, the coordinator of Ukrainian tourists arriving in Sri Lanka and a close relative of the Rajapaksa family.

Weeratunga has accused Fernando of pushing her own agenda without supporting the government's efforts to resurrect tourism. The former diplomat said the tourism chief was aware of the itinerary of the tourists and she was fully briefed about the programme. Weeratunga was responding to Fernando's earlier remarks that she got to know about the tourists' excursions to Yala and Mirissa through the media.

in the wake of the recent exchange between Weeratunga and Fernando, sources familiar with the developments of the industry expressed doubts that Fernando's stint at the SLTDA might not last long. "She might be forced to resign or will be replaced by someone who is willing to accommodate Weeratunga's plan," a source familar with the matter said.

Coming from a solid corporate background, Fernando has served as a Director of Delmege Forsyth Limited, Vallibel One PLC and Richard Pieris Distributors Limited.

Previously, she was Acting Chairperson of LB Finance PLC, Director of NDB and has also held senior positions at Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC, Standard Chartered Bank, Sri Lanka and Deutsche Bank AG, Sri Lanka and in Germany.

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