Indian nationals are advised not to undertake non-essential travel to Sri Lanka: Ministry of External Affairs

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Apr 27, 2019, 07:25 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The release stated that those who would need to travel to the neighbouring country and are not in a situation to avoid it can contact the High Commission of India in Colombo. 

The Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday issued a travel advisory for Indian nationals to Sri Lanka and directed people "not to undertake non-essential travel". 

The MEA, in a release, stated that those who would need to travel to the neighbouring country and are not in a situation to avoid it can contact the High Commission of India in Colombo. 

"In case of those undertaking essential travels, they can contact the High Commission of India in Colombo or the Assistant HC in Kandy/Consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna in case of requirement of any assistance. Helpline nos. of the Indian HC are available on the Mission’s website," the ministry noted. 

"In view of the prevailing security situation in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of terror attacks on 21 April 2019, Indian nationals intending to travel to Sri Lanka are advised not to undertake non-essential travel," the release read. 

The release explaining the situation in the country said," The Government of Sri Lanka has beefed up the security in the country. A nation-wide emergency including night time curfew is in place at present which may also affect travel within Sri Lanka."

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The Indian mission in Colombo is making sure that all Indian citizens are safe and is working overtime to make sure of it. The mission has also facilitated Indians, who in the aftermath of the terror attack, wanted to leave the country. Security of the Indian mission has been beefed up as it was also on the target by the terrorist.

Several other countries have issued a travel advisory to Sri Lanka for their nationals. 

The United States has asked family members of its diplomats to leave the country, adding that the authorities are working overtime to make sure it happens. 

In an official release, the US embassy in Sri Lanka said, "Department of State ordered the departure of all school-age family members of US government employees in Kindergarten through 12th grade."

The US State Department also authorized the "voluntary departure of non-emergency US government employees and family members."

Washington warned that terror groups are plotting a possible attack in the Island country. The possible location could be "tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, hospitals"

The United Kingdom has already updated its travel advisory to the country.

Australia in its travel advisory to its citizens said, "Terrorists are likely to carry out further attacks in Sri Lanka." and these "attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.''

Russia too followed suit and has asked its citizens to refrain from visiting Sri Lanka.

A series of blasts hit Sri Lanka last week on the day of Easter Sunday. Over 250 people were killed in suicide bombings that had targetted churches and hotels across the island nation. 

Meanwhile, the bodies of 15 people, including six children, were discovered at the site of a fierce overnight gun battle on the east coast of Sri Lanka, a military spokesman said on Saturday. 

The shootout between troops and suspected Islamist militants erupted on Friday evening in Sainthamaruthu in Ampara, to the south of the town of Batticaloa, site of one of the Easter Sunday blasts at three churches and four luxury hotels, news agency Reuters reported. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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