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MCSL's letter to H E Mahinda Rajapakshe on the Casino Bill

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October 22nd 2013

His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa,

President,

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,

Presidents’ House,

Colombo 1.

Your Excellency,

The Establishment of Gaming Resorts in Sri Lanka

It is with deep concern we wish to appeal to Your Excellency to reconsider the approval of Section 3(4) of the Strategic Development Projects Act, No. 14 of 2008 as amended which includes tax relief for Casino Hotel Projects.

The short term financial advantages envisaged for the country through this project does not justify the moral decay that is bound to set in Sri Lanka. The religious leaders of all the major religions in Sri Lanka have appealed to Your Excellency not to make Sri Lanka the Gambling capital of the region by providing concessions for the world’s gambling giants to set up gambling resorts in the heart of the Capital. Gambling is forbidden or strongly discouraged by all religions as it causes disastrous consequences in society. The vices associated with gambling are clearly evident with rampant prostitution, violence, gun culture, alcohol and drug abuse prevailing in our nation since it was legalized in 1980. A large number of foreign sex workers have entered the country, and Sri Lankan girls from villages too are lured to the city as sex workers. This not only poses a threat to our moral and cultural values, but also poses a danger to the health of the nation with the rapid increase in HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Your Excellency, your able leadership saw the end of the long war that plagued our Nation, and we are now on the path to Development which will make all Sri Lankans proud. Your determination and courage to steer our country in the face of many obstacles will be recorded in History as an example of contemporary governance.

We wish Your Excellency continued strength in your able and strong leadership, and earnestly request Your Excellency to reconsider the Government’s endeavor enabling the establishment of the Gaming and Leisure Industry in the country.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for your kind consideration and we look forward to your positive action.

Yours truly,

N M Ameen – President, MCSL

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