New Delhi: In view of the prevailing security situation in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of terror attacks on April 21, 2019, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has issued an advisory for Indians intending to travel to the country. The MEA has advised the people to not make non-essential travel. Also Read - India Pushes For Pakistan to Remain on FATF Grey List, Says Pak Continues to be Safe Haven for Terrorists
“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 no. of the Indian High Commission is available on the Mission’s website,” a statement issued by MEA read. Also Read - Violations of Law Cannot by Condoned: MEA Responds to UN Human Rights Chief's NGO Curbs Remark
The helpline numbers are: +94772234176, +94777902082, +94112422788 and +94112422789. Also Read - 'Talks on, But It's Something Confidential': Jaishankar on India-China Border Tensions
MEA further stated that the Government of Sri Lanka has beefed up the security in the country. A nation-wide emergency including nighttime curfew is in place currently which may also affect the travel within the country.
Meanwhile, the Indian HC in Colombo is leaving no stone unturned in keeping the Indian citizens safe. It is rather working overtime to provide security to the Indians as well as facilitate their travel.
US Issues Warning
The United States has asked family members of its diplomats to leave Sri Lanka following the terror attack on the country. In a 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 authorised the “voluntary departure of non-emergency US government employees and family members.”
The US has also issued warned that terror groups are plotting another possible attack on Sri Lanka. The 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”
Apart from the US, Australia, France, Russia, Canada and Belgium have also issued advisories asking its citizens to “avoid gatherings, worship services and public places” and limit “movements and stay indoors where possible”.
The UK has already updated its travel advisory to the country.UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised: “against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka.”