Tilko Jaffna to open second hotel in Velanai | Daily News

Tilko Jaffna to open second hotel in Velanai

Tilko Hotels Jaffna will invest a further Rs. 300 million to open their second hotel, Tilko Charty Beach resort in Velanai, Jaffna. This will have five chalets and ten rooms and water sports activities.

Tilko Hotels Managing Director, Thilak T. Thilagaraj who owns and operates the largest hotel in Jaffna said that they have second thoughts to re-invest in Lankan projects again.

"We left Sri Lanka in 1970's and started the real estate business in London and came back during the peace talks initiated by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. We also started Tilko hotel subsequently."

Tilko Hotels Managing Director Thilak Thilagaraj Picture by Siripala Halwala.

He said hat it was very difficult during the time as they were paying Rs. 2,500 per bag of cement while the southerner was purchasing it for Rs. 650. There were so many other obstacles but we remained in Sri Lanka."

He said that after ending the war too today he does not see any improvement for business entities in Jaffna. "Though there are trains it's very hard to book a seat when we want it and it also takes six hours to travel."

He was very critical of the domestic flight operations and said that there are three flights a week. The Colombo - Jaffna return air fare is equivalent to a return air ticket to Singapore! "I do not see any practical reason for the Palaly Airport cannot have direct flights from Katunayake airport which will make travel simpler from BIA to Jaffna."

He also said that due to a weak airline two investors from India and UK shunned away.

Tilagaraj also lamented that Sri Lanka Tourism too is not keen on promoting Jaffna. "We need a tourism office in Jaffna and don't see a single tourism map for Jaffna. Is this the way to promote Northern tourism," he asked.

"They have to give the Northern region special attention to 'catch up with the rest of the country' after decades of war and to overcome poverty.

He said that when they ask BOI approval they get in on time and when they come back to Jaffna and when they try to start the project in Jaffna the BOI branch is not at all supportive and approvals are very hard to come.

Commenting on the boat service to Nagadeepa he said that it's like a boat that carries cattle. "This is a death ride and authorities must do something soon before a major accident happens."

He however thanked the government for allowing foreigners to visit Jaffna without having to take prior permission. 

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