British visitors cautioned

foreign and commonwealth officeIn an updated travel advice on Sri Lanka issued on 01 December 2014, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has advised British citizens visiting Sri Lanka   to be vigilant as a result of the upcoming Presidential elections .

It has announced that Presidential elections have been announced for 8 January 2015 and that Political rallies and election campaigns in Sri Lanka have occasionally turned violent and for visitors to avoid political gatherings or rallies.

It further states; earlier in 2014, there were violent disturbances in Aluthgama (near Bentota) and Beruwala (about 60km south of Colombo) which resulted in 4 reported deaths and many injuries, as well as damage to buildings and local businesses. Both areas are near to tourist resorts on the coast. There have been isolated incidents and disturbances elsewhere around the country, primarily targeting Evangelical Christians and Muslims. You should take care and avoid demonstrations.

The security forces have imposed restrictions preventing all foreign passport holders (including British nationals) travelling to the Northern Province. All foreign passport holders planning to travel to the north must get prior approval from the Ministry of Defence. Military activities are ongoing. You should obey orders from the security forces and signs warning of the danger from land-mines.

Most visits to Sri Lanka are trouble-free, but you should be aware of the risk of credit card fraud, road accidents, drownings due to dangerous tides and dengue fever which is transmitted by mosquito bites.

Sri Lanka can be affected by severe weather like tropical cyclones and monsoon rains. Check local advice before setting out.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

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