Sri Lanka army hotel caught selling bootleg booze
COLOMBO (EconomyNext) Sri Lanka’s army-run Laya Beach which advertised liquor at "unbelievable prices" has been raided for illegally selling alcohol violating both excise laws, during Vesak week.
Army chief Chrishantha de Silva ordered an immediate internal investigation two days after excise inspectors raided the hotel and seized 840 bottles of hard liquor and some 200 bottles of beer.
"They have violated several excise laws," spokesman Prabath Jayawickrema said. "It is not just selling liquor without paying taxes, but they did not have a licence to sell any liquor, not even beer."
The hotel was also selling spirits during the most important Buddhist festival of Vesak when there is a country-wide ban on the sale of alcohol.
The 35-room deluxe hotel, one of many run by the military, had on its website advertised "liquor at unbelievable prices."
Gen. de Silva has instructed his officers to deal severely with wrong doers, irrespective of their rank or status, the army said in a statement today.
Sri Lanka’s military had been involved in running hotels, barber saloons, selling vegetables and groceries as well as managing public utilities under the former administration of Mahinda Rajapaksa who was toppled at January elections.
The new government has promised to withdraw troops from non-military related duties that included maintaining parks, cricket grounds as well as cleaning sewers.