Sri Lanka Re-imposes Restrictions On Foreigners Visiting The North

Defence Ministry today announced that foreigners need to obtain permission from Defence authorities before visiting the North.

Military Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya, speaking to reporters in Colombo today, cleared the air on the matter saying foreigners visiting the North are required to obtain permission from the Ministry of Defence. However, the government earlier stated that anyone could visit the North without any restriction.

Speaking to journalists, Wanigasuriya added that the defence authorities had received credible information that some elements were trying to destabilize the North and create disharmony among ethnic communities of the country.

He said by registering with the Ministry of Defence, the authorities would be able to assist them in their movements in the province.

Some sections of international media alleged that Sri Lanka's military had banned foreigners from travelling to the island's former war zone during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to Jaffna.

According to them, foreigners were turned back at Omanthai, the army-controlled entry point to the Northern Province

 

After a three decade long conflict, Sri Lanka lifted travel bans on foreigners visiting the North in 2011 saying normalcy had returned to the former war affected area. 

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