No more AbaY Bank!

Arugam.info has just been informed that the State owned Zovirax eye ointment price Bank, the Bank of Ceylon has decided to close its ‘Arugambay Extention office’ for ever.
BoC at AbaYBank of Ceylon @ Arugam Bay
History:
Since (temp.) peace settled in 2002 a concerned and forward looking, local manager, a Mr. Y.B. Aliyar thought to provide a better service to the influx of tourists to the Bay.
Scantly dressed females somehow looked out of place in the nearby, conservative PottuVille at the BoC office. Impatient surfers found waiting for currency transactions and Visa Card advances troublesome and the local staff often became overworked with such additional workload.

late P'Ville BoC clerk Mr.MajidBank of Ceylon HQ @ P'Ville
In consultation with the SVH Team it was decided to rent premises at Arugam Bay to provide a better, most welcome and valuable service to visitors to our remote region.
There are no private Banks permitted and Central Bank permission was granted in 2003 to open the new Extention (sic) Office at AbaY.
Result:
For an initial period of 3 Years ground floor offices on the main road, in the very middle of the Bay were given to the Bank of Ceylon for a preferential rate of just 50$/month incl. a/c and power. The SVH refurbished the office at a cost of around 300,000 Rs./ to include an attached shower & bathroom.
December 2004
On 26th December, 2004 giant floods swept the Bay and wiped off near all of the Siam View Hotel. The bank premises, however remained intact and stood up to the waves.
The interiour, however was devastated and washed away. All which remained was the strong safe and the sign boards.
The State Bank never, ever came back to assess the situation, never even cleaned their own premises, but had the new safe removed in mid 2005.

Letters
The SVH itself has been credited on CNN & ITN with being the only functioning place open on the entire East Coast. Indeed, the SVH reopened on Tsunami Day itself providing valuable services to the (then) united Community. This is well documented elsewhere, mainly abroad.
More than a dozen letters to the totally unconcerned BoC Head Office. More followed to the Ampara regional office, asking to re-open the office as a matter of urgency to pay Tsunami relief locally. This great service would have enabled affected, very poor people to collect their 500 Rs./ in full.
Instead, more than 100 Rs./ were wasted on travel, via boat service to PottuVille.
Every week.
Not even one single one of letters were ever answered. Instead the agreed rent payments stopped in January, 2005 – just ONE month after the disaster.

Legal
The SVH, itself the hardest hit hotel for miles around, has been politely asking for the rent due ever since. Nothing at all was paid until a letter arrived a week ago informing them that the Bank has “No intention to re-open the Arugambay Extention office“.
A legal case is still ongoing of this treatment – which totally is opposed to the huge adverts the Bank has placed in leading newspapers: ‘How much we are committed to help ….etc.’
The now vacant offices look just like they did on December, 2004 – and the poor SVH is expected to pick up the repair bills…..
BoC letter tenancyletter by the SVH

Conclusion
For the few visitors of the Bay the few very hard working, hard hit survivors managed to attract in such difficult times there are no more financial services at Arugam Bay.
Indeed, the nearest cash machine is 2-3 hrs. away.
A poor show – but it perhaps represents the kind of “assistance and concern” our East Coast location receives from faceless and very distant Colombo officers.

update May, 2007:
The Asian Tribune carried the story.
Here is the link:

http://www.asiantribune.com/index.php?q=node/5849

update, 24th May, 2007:
The bank suddenly agreed to pay rent until Mid 2006.
However, the sign boards were removed May, 2007.
Unpaid SLT telephone bills still arrive at the SVH for the BoC office.
The SVH is waiting the return of the keys and the handing over of clean, working premises in a similar condition as they were rented out initially.
A further letter to the BoC has not been answered as yet….


update December, 2010:

Frequent reminders were sent to the Bank of Ceylon.
The manager of the nearby Pottuville branch has changed to a gentlemen from Akkaraiprattu.
As the SVH maintains an account with this branch, the issue of unpaid bills and unanswered letters has been raised again and again in personal conversations.
However, nothing at all happened and the bills remain unpaid until this date, end December 2010 – 6 years after the BoC ‘vacated’ the premises.
Furthermore, not even one Rupee was allowed to be overdrawn on the existing account – in times of real need and hardship.

Asian TribuneA? text below:

Colombo, 24 May, (Asiantribune.com): Owner of the Siam View Hotel [SVH] of Arugambay , Dr. Fred Miller complains the Arugambay branch Aleve how much to take office of a state owned bank terminated their services and defaulted rent payments one month after the tsunami.The Bank was located at the premises of the Siam Hotel , Arugambay and provided ample service for the area businessmen and the tourists .

Dr.Miller, served as an Engineer and the Hotel Owner who loves surfing in the Potuvil area said the BankA?a??a??s Management has still not answered his official letters regarding the monthly rent.

A?a??A?The SVH, itself the hardest hit hotel for miles around, has been politely asking for the rent due ever since. Nothing at all was paid until a letter arrived a week ago informing them that the Bank has A?a??A?No intention to re-open the Arugambay Extention office, said Dr. Miller.

For the few visitors of the Bay the handful of hard working, hard hit survivors managed to attract in such difficult times as there are no more financial services at Arugam Bay.

Indeed, the nearest cash machine is 2-3 hrs. away. A poor show a?? but it perhaps represents the kind of A?a??A?assistance and concernA?a??A? our East Coast location receives from faceless and very distant Colombo officers.

Since temporarily peace settled in 2002 a concerned and forward looking, branch manager of the Arugambay bank, thought to provide a better service to the influx of tourists to the Bay.

Scantly dressed females somehow looked out of place in the nearby, conservative Pottuvil at this office. Impatient surfers found waiting for currency transactions and Visa Card advances troublesome and the local staff was overworked with such transactions.

In consultation with the SVH management it was decided to rent the premises at Arugam Bay to provide a better, most welcome and valuable service to visitors to this remote region.

There are no private Banks permitted and Central BankA?a??a??s permission was granted in 2003 to open the new Extention Office at Arugambay.

For an initial period of 3 Years the ground floor offices on the main road, in the very middle of the Bay were given to the Bank at a preferential rate of just 50$/month including air condition and power. The Siam View Hotel refurbished the office at a cost of around Rs. 300,000, to include an attached shower & bathroom.

On 26th December, 2004 giant floods swept the Bay and wiped off near all of the Siam View Hotel. The bank premises however remained intact and stood up to the waves.

The interior however was devastated and washed away. All which remained was the strong safe and the sign boards.

The State Bank never, ever came back to assess the situation, never even cleaned their own premises, but had the new safe removed in mid 2006.

The SVH itself has been credited on CNN & ITN with being the only functioning place open on the entire East Coast. Indeed, the SVH reopened on Tsunami Day itself providing valuable services to the (then) united Community. This is well documented elsewhere, mainly abroad.

More than a dozen letters were sent to the totally unconcerned bankA?a??a??s Head Office. More followed to the Ampara regional office, asking to re-open the office as a matter of urgency to pay Tsunami relief locally. Unfortunately according to a source, A?a??A?Not even one single letter was ever answered,A?a??A? he said.

– Asian Tribune –

source: http://www.asiantribune.com/index.php?q=node/5849


We will keep you informed!

3 Responses to “No more AbaY Bank!”


  • I used the banking service at Arugam bay in 2004 and think it is a great loss to have lost the facility. Does the Government actually do anything useful in the East>?

  • Alex Thompson

    I’ve originally noticed this story in our National paper.
    It was hard to believe that a State Institution could act in such a manner.
    However, we researched the statements – and it indeed all checked out.
    We are planning to run a follow up story and hope to visit the Bay soon.
    Don’t give up!
    rgds
    Alex

  • We are honoured; indeed overwhelmed! to learn that the International Press has taken this little story up!
    We have been informed today that the “Asian Tribune”, written by well known Mr. Sunil Perera, has printed much of the above content in their edition today.
    A reply by a Mr. Trinco has also been posted on their web site:

    “This is how our banking
    Submitted by trinco on Thu, 2007-05-24 08:27.

    This is how our banking officials help tourism in the country, treating the industry with contempt… Officials cannot even communicate with the hotel owners and these banking idiots should be thrown out immediately.

    Question is what is the tourist ministry doing about this?”

    see the original article in our press coverage section, dated today!

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