Sri Lanka East safe for tourists: Britain

Jan 03, 2009 (LBO) – Britain said it is no longer advising its citizens against travel to Sri Lanka’s East, but the north continued to be out of bounds though a 30-year war in the area ended last May. Britain’s foreign and commonwealth office (FCO) said it had removed an ‘all but essential travel’ tag to the key eastern districts of Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Ampara.

But Britons were still advised against travelling to Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullativu and Vavuniya.

“For the purposes of this Travel Advice, this means no travel north of the boundary line from Mullikkulam on the north west coast to Kokkilai on the north east coast,” the FCO said.

“Travel to Jaffna District is possible but only by approved means. All foreign nationals are required to seek prior approval from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence before attempting to travel to Jaffna.”

The website advised Britons to avoid public rallies ahead of presidential elections on January 26.

Britain is a key tourism generator for Sri Lanka.