Sri Lanka urges envoys to help lift travel advisories
Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, here on Monday, urged foreign envoys to help his government in removing travel restrictions imposed on tourists following the Easter Sunday attacks, which claimed over 250 lives and left hundreds others injured.
During a meeting at the President’s House, attended by ambassadors of the UK, the US, Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia and the European Union, Sirisena said he could guarantee that the security situation in the island country was “99 per cent ensured”, the Daily Mirror reported.
The President last week extended the Emergency in Sri Lanka by a month. The Emergency was imposed immediately after the April 21 bombings by Islamist militants at three luxury hotels, three churches and two other locations. The killings were claimed by the Islamic State.
In the aftermath of attacks, anti-Muslim violence broke out in the country. Homes and shops of Muslims as well as mosques were targeted in the riots that claimed one life.
The police and the military now say a “peaceful situation was now prevailing in the country” after they arrested almost all those involved in the attacks. The troops and police, however, remain on alert across the island.
Sirisena told the ambassadors the Emergency was extended due to search operations conducted by the military. As many as 89 suspects had been arrested for their alleged links with the bombings.
The President hoped the Emergency would not be required to be extended further.
According to the President’s Media Division, the ambassadors pledged to take immediate action to remove travel restriction.