Tuesday, November 24, 2009

US relaxes Sri Lanka travel advisory

The U.S. Department of State last week issued a "revised" travel advisory for Americans in Sri Lanka to, "reflect improving security circumstances in the country," the U.S. delegation in Colombo announced.
In its revised travel warning, the State Department states: "Stability in the southern and western areas of the country has improved with the end of fighting. The Department of State urges U.S. people to remain watchful while traveling in Sri Lanka."
The State Department's decision comes exactly six months after Sri Lankan Government forces defeated the LTTE. No terrorist incidents have occurred in Sri Lanka as then, and tourism arrivals have jumped considerably. The Government expects to attract 2.5 million tourists in 2010.
Japan also relaxed its, "Travel Advisory & Warning," for Sri Lanka to a "Travel Caution," also noting the improved safety state of affairs.
The United Kingdom revised its own travel warning in July 2009.
Additionally, the Government of Sri Lanka lifted restrictions on those livelihood in Jaffna to travel all through Sri Lanka , a security measure that was imposed during the disagreement with the LTTE radical group. The LTTE was headquartered in northern Sri Lanka .
The Government also lifted the compulsion that lorries must register in order to transit goods between the north and south. It said that such register was no longer essential
The US State Department noted that landmines are buried all through northern Sri Lanka. The Government of Sri Lanka has launched a extensive de-mining effort there.
There are an estimated 1.5 million landmines and unexploded weapons in northern Sir Lanka, and Government armed forces have sustained to unearth buried LTTE arms caches. But no terrorist incidents have occurred.
More than 288,000 civilians, mostly from the north, were initially displaced by the conflict and then housed in Government-run welfare centers. As de-mining has higher a huge resettlement movement has begun.
As of Nov. 20, 2009, more than semi of those displaced civilians had been sent home. The Government has pledged to go back most of the displaced by Jan. 31, 2010. concerning 135,000 people stay in the centers today.
Courtesy - The Sunday Island

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