ECONOMYNEXT – Canada has eased a travel advisory for Sri Lanka, moving the crisis-hit island to a new “yellow” rank from the previous orange, indicating a decrease in overall risk.
However, the Government of Canada has always warned against non-essential travel to the island nation in crisis.
[There is a] decrease in overall risk level for Sri Lanka. Avoid non-essential travel to exercise a high degree of caution,” the travel advisory said.
A higher level of caution is advised due to the country facing its worst economic crisis since independence, which has led to shortages of essentials, fuel, food and medicine which are tackled through quotas and rations.
The Canadian government had previously advised travelers about the protests in Sri Lanka, saying that “even peaceful protests can escalate quickly and turn violent at any time. They can also cause disruptions to traffic and public transport. »
Sri Lanka’s main youth-led Aragalaya (struggle) protest ended last month on August 10 after newly appointed President Ranil Wickremesinghe imposed a state of emergency and police ordered protesters to leave Colombo’s main unrest site in front of the presidential secretariat.
However, sporadic protests have continued against what activists claim is a government crackdown on peaceful protests.
Canada has advised Canadians in Sri Lanka to “keep supplies of food, water and fuel in case of prolonged disruptions and ensure you have an adequate supply of medication as they may not be available.
The Canadian government has also warned its citizens that Sri Lanka is subject to terrorist threats and further attacks cannot be ruled out. The last time Sri Lanka suffered a terrorist attack was in April 2019.
“Intercommunal and religious tensions exist across the country and have led to violence. Other violent incidents could occur,” the statement added. However, ethnic tensions were relatively low compared to previous periods.
Sri Lanka has not yet joined Canada’s green list as the economic crisis persists in the island. However, several European countries such as France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and Norway have relaxed their travel warnings.
Several European governments relax travel advisories issued for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka recorded 37,000 tourist arrivals in August and the island earned US$824.9 million for the first seven months with 458,670 total arrivals, according to central bank data. (Colombo/06/09/2022)