July 31, 2010 (LBO) – The British government has removed a travel warning on Sri Lanka advising against visits to the former northern war zone, following the withdrawal of previous travel warnings in the rest of the island. A British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) statement said it no longer advised against all travel to the northern districts of Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaittivu and Vavuniya.
The move comes as tourist arrivals to the island are increasingly following the end of the 30-year ethnic war in May 2009 and ahead of the peak winter tourism season.
The FCO said visitors must have permission from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence before travelling to the northern districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaittivu and Vavuniya.
Although the war was over, “there is a general threat from terrorism in Sri Lanka,” it said.
“Isolated attacks cannot be ruled out and could be indiscriminate.
“Foreign tourists and visitors have not been targeted in the past but attacks have occurred in places frequented by foreigners.”
The FCO also advised tourists to be careful of mines and unexploded ordnance.
“Although the conflict is over, extensive military operations are still ongoing