Govt to take up matter with Envoys

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By 2017-07-16

By Leon Berenger

The government will shortly be talking to several heads of foreign missions after travel advisories warning of a terrorist threat, among other adverse issues has placed the country in poor light and threatens to scare off foreign visitors, a senior official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

He said that Sri Lankan Envoys based in those countries have also been alerted and instructed to take up the matter with the relevant authorities at the highest level, the official said. "These advisories fall short of diplomatic protocol that is enjoyed among friendly nations, and this should never be the case. We will be seeking to rectify this at the very earliest", the official said.

Foreign travellers intending to visit Sri Lanka are being given a scare by certain Western countries who claim that there still exists a threat of terrorism and has advised their citizenry to be extremely cautious while visiting and staying in Sri Lanka.

Travel advisories put out by the UK, Canadian and Australian Missions in Colombo has also warned of a high crime rate from petty thefts to credit card frauds and sex offences targeting single woman among many other issues.

The travellers are warned to exercise a high degree of caution since terror attacks cannot be ruled and that they could occur even in places visited by foreigners, the advisories further added. "When in Sri Lanka use common sense. Look out for suspicious behaviour as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for information on local travelling conditions.

"Some security forces maintain a visible presence, particularly in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Military and Police checkpoints can be established and road closures can occur without warning.

"Avoid all demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent or be a target for politically-motivated attacks. Police have used tear gas in response to protests," the Australian advisory read.

The military conflict between the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, commonly known as 'the Tamil Tigers') ended in May 2009, but there remains a heightened level of security in some parts of the country.

There's a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

The countries have also updated their warning on the threat of dengue and travellers have been advised to seek immediate medical assistance if a fever lasted for more than three days.

They have also given the number of Dengue-related deaths and patients throughout the country while warning that the Western Province was the worst affected.

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