Thu, 02 Dec 2021 Today's Paper

Sri Lanka halts low season visa-free plan after bombings

25 April 2019 04:34 pm - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Sri Lankan Government said it was suspending plans to grant citizens of 39 countries visa-free entry during the country's tourism low season after Easter Sunday terror attacks, AFP reported today.

Tourism Minister John Amaratunga in a statement said although arrangements were in place to issue visas on arrival for citizens of 39 countries, the government has now decided to hold it in consideration of the current security situation. 

"Investigations have revealed foreign links to the Easter attacks and we don't want this programme to be abused," he said.

Sri Lanka had announced last month a plan to allow visa-free entry to tourists from 39 countries, including EU members, Australia and the United States, during the low season, from May 1.

The scheme did not include China and India, from where many of Sri Lanka's visitors come.

The devastating Easter Sunday suicide bombings against churches and hotels killed 359 people, including dozens of foreigners.

The blasts have rocked the country's burgeoning tourism industry, which is one of the most important foreign exchange earners for the island.

Sri Lanka received 740,600 foreign tourists in the first three months of the year, up 4.6 percent from the same period a year earlier.

It welcomed a record 2.33 million tourists in 2018, and was named the world's top travel destination for 2019 by the Lonely Planet guide book.

  Comments - 6

  • Lord Wolfstein Thursday, 25 April 2019 04:55 PM

    Wrong decision

    Cluless Thursday, 25 April 2019 06:01 PM

    Good decision. Don't take any chances atleast until proper intelligence and other law and order measures are implemented.

    Kuma Thursday, 25 April 2019 06:31 PM

    Good decision

    Mr X Thursday, 25 April 2019 06:44 PM

    This should've been done much earlier. Expanding tourism shouldn't be done at the cost of national security.

    Mm Thursday, 25 April 2019 06:48 PM

    Short sided plans were taken,Flood gates were opened and now we suffer!

    Hans perlee Thursday, 25 April 2019 06:51 PM

    A decision taken in panic.

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment

Focus on Laggala Gem mining big shots bigger than the law

The truth is now being uncovered regarding an illegal mining racket in state

How and why the TNA was formed twenty years ago

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is now twenty years of age. The premier pol

India lays emphasis on culture diplomacy with Sri Lanka

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to inaugurate the Kushinagar Inter

Bittersweet memories of a ‘City that never slept’

At the heart of Eastern Province lies a now abandoned ghost town punctuated w