Sri Lanka lifts travel curbs on foreigners to north

July 5, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has lifted travel curbs on foreigners to the north of the island where a 30-year war ended in 2009, and foreign passport holders could travel without special approval, the government’s information office said. The government’s information office said foreign passport holders would no longer require documents of approval from defence authorities to pass a key checkpoint in the northern town of Vavuniya on the highway to the north.

The information office said at a meeting Saturday businessmen told economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa about the difficulties faced by expatriate relatives of northern residents when they visited.

Tens of thousands of Sri Lankan fled the north and the east of the island during the 30 year war. Meanwhile Sri Lanka is expected to end ‘visa of arrival’ facilities to all countries except Maldives and Singapore, which now allow visa free travel for Sri Lankans.