When transiting Sri Lanka, ensure your luggage does not contain prohibited or restricted items, such as weapons, ammunition, explosives, gold, narcotics, and pornography, among other items. Just started going through all the study material. Since the independence, Sri Lanka has been operating with severe restrictions over foreign currency dealings, which in recent times saw some gradual relaxation despite a few bumps on the road. Please explain the real situation regarding forex trading. Landslides have occurred during and after heavy rains in Colombo, as well as Central, Western, Sabaragamuwa, and other Provinces depending upon prevailing weather conditions.
Demonstrations in Colombo are a regular occurrence. Most demonstrations are peaceful, resulting only in traffic congestion; however, some have ended in violence between the protesters and police or opposition groups. While the majority of demonstrations are related to internal Sri Lankan politics, protests directed toward western embassies and international organizations are not uncommon.
Demonstrations can occur with little or no advance notice. Even those intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Embassy recommends that U. Travelers should check the U. Travelers should remain aware of their surroundings at all times, review their personal security plans, and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Sri Lanka occasionally experiences heavy rain fall due to depressions around the island. Heavy rainfall has resulted in flooding in low lying urban areas and near rivers.
Landslides have occurred during and after heavy rains in Colombo, as well as Central, Western, Sabaragamuwa, and other Provinces depending upon prevailing weather conditions. There is an elevated criminal threat in Sri Lanka. Most violent crime occurs within the local community. However, reports of violent crime, sexual assaults and harassment directed at foreigners have been increasing in recent months. Police response to assist victims can vary from a few minutes to hours, even in the tourist areas, and particularly in remote areas.
Organized and armed gangs are known to operate in Sri Lanka and have been responsible for targeted kidnappings and violence, although there is no evidence to suggest that U. A British national was killed and a Russian national sexually assaulted and beaten during a violent attack by a gang in a tourist resort in the southern beach town of Tangalle in December The Sri Lankan justice system can be slower than in the United States and there are a number of outstanding cases of crimes against foreign nationals.
Travelers, especially women, should consider travelling with other people when possible. Western women continue to report incidents of verbal and physical harassment by groups of men.
Such harassment can occur anytime or anywhere, but most frequently has taken place in crowded areas such as marketplaces, train stations, buses, public streets and sporting events.
The harassment ranges from sexually suggestive or lewd comments to physical advances, and sexual assaults have occurred as well. While most victims of sexual assault have been local residents, an upswing in sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas in the southern beaches underlines the fact that foreign women should exercise vigilance. Routine petty crime, especially thefts of personal property and pick-pocketing, is not uncommon if the traveler does not take appropriate safeguards.
Credit card fraud is frequent and can happen in any establishment, or when paying online. Travelers should consider paying in cash whenever possible, and should carefully review billing statements to ensure that purchases displayed on their credit card statements are accurate. Consultation with personal credit card security advisors is encouraged for travelers to develop a protection plan that is best for your travel to Sri Lanka. This number only contacts the police and does not provide access to emergency medical services.
Although the number is answered 24 hours a day, police responsiveness may vary. You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
If you break local laws in Sri Lanka, your U. When transiting Sri Lanka, ensure your luggage does not contain prohibited or restricted items, such as weapons, ammunition, explosives, gold, narcotics, and pornography, among other items. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit but still illegal in the United States. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Sri Lanka are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Under the Cultural Prosperity Act and the Antiques Ordinance, the unlicensed export of antiques from the country is considered a criminal act.
Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U. If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U. The Sri Lankan police still maintain several checkpoints throughout the country. Photography is prohibited in designated high security zones and near many government facilities such as offices and military installations. Travelers arriving by sea should be prepared for Sri Lankan Navy officials to inspect their vessels and should always wait for radio clearance before coming into port.
Tourists should be mindful of restrictions and observances when planning to visit any religious establishment, whether Buddhist or Hindu temples, mosques, churches, or other locations considered sacred by the local population. Posing for a photograph with your back to a statue of Buddha is a serious offense in Sri Lanka, punishable by a fine or arrest. Travelers should also be cognizant of displaying religious imagery, including tattoos of Buddha, while traveling to and transiting within the country, as foreign nationals have been arrested or denied entry to Sri Lanka due to such tattoos.
If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers. Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in Sri Lanka, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. The Sri Lankan Supreme Court has directed that steps be taken to provide easy access for persons with disabilities to public buildings. Although there are regulations on accessibility in place, lack of wheelchair access in most buildings limits access for people with disabilities.
Potholes and sidewalks in poor repair can make movement very difficult. The road network in Sri Lanka is improving, but many roads remain in medium to poor condition. Sidewalks and road crossings in most major towns tend to be congested with vendors, stray dogs, and groups of people loitering on street corners.
Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance our webpage to cover medical evacuation.
There are six large hospitals in the Colombo area, including four facilities with emergency trauma service: Medical facilities outside Colombo are limited. The availability of medical supplies is uneven; therefore, travelers should carry any special medications with them. Serious medical conditions do require evacuation to the United States or to a nearby country with more advanced medical facilities, such as Thailand or Singapore. Neither Thailand nor Singapore requires U.
Several mosquito-borne diseases, including dengue fever, Chikungunya, and Japanese encephalitis are present in Sri Lanka. Adequate mosquito protection is strongly advised. Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in Sri Lanka, U.
Vehicular traffic in Sri Lanka moves on the left British style. Indrajit Coomaraswamy told reporters this week, highlighting the salient features of the new law.
Since the independence, Sri Lanka has been operating with severe restrictions over foreign currency dealings, which in recent times saw some gradual relaxation despite a few bumps on the road. The permission to carry out current and capital transactions is granted by the finance minister based on the provisions available in the Act. Hence, Samarasiri said these provisions are a clear risk, which keeps the potential foreign investors away from Sri Lanka due to fear of subsequent revocation of foreign exchange rules that prohibit the repatriation of profits.
But the new foreign exchange management law will liberalize all the current account transactions by law, sending a clear message to the global investor community that movement of foreign exchange could not be revoked later by any party. While there will be further relaxation in controls, Dr.
But for that we need more of a cushion in terms of reserves, etc. However, he said empirical evidence had suggested that more liberalization in the capital account had resulted in more inflows as the people build confidence of the ability to take money out of the country of what they bring in. If people know that they can take their money out, they are more liable to bring the money in. Speaking about the capital transactions under the new foreign exchange management law, Samarasiri said there would only be regulation from time to time with respect to movement of capital in the interest of the financial system stability at times of extreme volatility.
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