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Events management companies on brink of bankruptcy

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Event Management Association Sri Lanka President Roshan Wijeyaratne noted that the industry has established guidelines for the holding of events and is willing to work with the government to create an enforceable framework for the safety of all participants at events. Wijeyaratne was speaking on July 13 at the Shangri La. Many members of the association have now defaulted on loans.

Wijeyaratne hailed the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and strongly supported the initial lockdown measures taken by the government. Wijeyeratne noted that with a 50 pax limit customers could just borrow equipment from the venue and provide their own entertainment. Wijeyaratne called on the government to realise the broader ecosystem of SMEs that the industry supports.

Gerry Jayasinghe called on the government to raise the rate of vaccination as that was the only sustainable mechanism to open up the entire economy. He noted that under the current framework companies with political clout were able to hold events and that it was not a fair playing field for all members within the industry. The industry is also concerned that continued closure of the event industry would put considerable strain on the equipment which requires regular usage and maintenance. The industry notes that if local players were to close down the industry would quickly be replaced by foreign players. The association noted that there was fear among the public that allowing events that are not an essential service would create unnecessary risks to the healthcare sector. The industry felt the need to speak publicly about their plight as their financial situation is very dire.

Wedding Planner Charm De Silva noted that without a more widespread opening of the tourist industry there would be a considerable shrinking of the destination wedding management industry. The Events Management Association is working closely with the Tourism Ministry to create a framework to allow the resumption of the destination wedding industry.

The industry called for the government to allow at least 50% capacity for fixed seating venues like the Lionel Wendt, Nelum Pokuna and BMICH.

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