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India Issues Travel Guidance for Sri Lanka

While not being in the nature of a standard travel advisory that proscribes visits to countries, Indian Ministry of External Affairs on August 25th seemed to issue a general travel guidance for tourists visiting Sri Lanka stating that the government would encourage Indians to exercise all care and caution while in Sri Lanka.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs responding to a question said, "Look on that one we have been following this [the situation in Sri Lanka] for some time, these developments there, but let me mention that our understanding is that Indians are still the largest source of tourists for Sri Lanka".

Bagchi said, "As regards travel of Indians to Sri Lanka in the current situation, let me emphasize that safety and well-being of Indian nationals during their stay outside India and including in Sri Lanka in this particular case is always of prime importance. Our endeavour is to prevent any untoward incidents involving Indians outside India. We would therefore encourage Indians to exercise all care and caution while in Sri Lanka".

He added, "They should examine all relevant factors, including currency convertibility and the fuel situation before undertaking any essential travel to Sri Lanka. That's for the moment that's what I had".

He however clarified that, "But this was a general guidance to people who are there, tourists who are there, or who are thinking of going, that would be our guidance".

After large scale violence in the country on May 9, in response to media queries on developments in Sri Lanka, official Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs made the following remarks in New Delhi on 10 May 2022.

"As a close neighbour of Sri Lanka, with historical ties, India is fully supportive of its (Sri Lanka's) democracy, stability and economic recovery. In keeping with our Neighbourhood First policy, India has extended this year alone support worth over US$ 3.5 billion to the people of Sri Lanka for helping them overcome their current difficulties. In addition, the people of India have provided assistance for mitigating the shortages of essential items such as food, medicine etc. India will always be guided by the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka expressed through democratic processes."

Interestingly no specific guidance was issued then.


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