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‘Avoid non-essential travel to Sri Lanka’: India issues advisory to citizens

The Sri Lankan government has beefed up the security in the country post the deadly bombings that claimed more than 250 lives. A nation-wide emergency including night time curfew is in place at present which may also affect travel within Sri Lanka.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2019 21:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sri Lanka,Sri Lanka blasts,Sri Lankan government
Sri Lankan Naval soldiers stand guard as authorities started clearing the debris from inside of the damaged St. Anthony's Church after it was targeted in a series of Islamic State-claimed suicide bombings that killed hundreds of people during Easter Sunday. (AP Photo)

Almost a week after the Easter Sunday suicide attacks in Sri Lanka that killed more than 250 people, India on Saturday asked its citizens to avoid all but essential travel to the island nation because of the security situation there.

“In view of the prevailing security situation in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of terror attacks on 21 April 2019, Indian nationals intending to travel to Sri Lanka are advised not to undertake non-essential travel,” said an advisory issued by the external affairs ministry.

“The government of Sri Lanka has beefed up security in the country. A nation-wide emergency, including night time curfew, is in place at present which may also affect travel within Sri Lanka,” the advisory said.

Indians undertaking essential or emergency travel to Sri Lanka can contact the high commission in Colombo or the assistant high commission in Kandy and consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna in case they need any assistance. The helpline numbers of the high commission are available on its website.

Also read| ‘Black sheep’: The mastermind of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombings

Experts had questioned the delay in India issuing such an advisory, especially after it emerged that 11 Indians were among those killed by the suicide bombings.

WATCH: Moment of explosion at Sri Lanka’s Kingsbury Hotel caught on CCTV

Other countries, including the US, Israel, Australia and Britain, have warned their citizens against visiting Sri Lanka. The US state department, warning that terrorist groups are continuing to plot attacks, urged citizens to reconsider travel and ordered the departure of all school-age family members of government employees.

Also read| US orders diplomats’ families to leave Sri Lanka, warns of possible terror attacks

The US embassy in Sri Lanka has also warned the public to stay away from places of worship over the weekend, an alert underlining that authorities believe attackers remain at large.

Also read| Sri Lanka troops kill four suspected IS men in gunfight during police raid

First Published: Apr 27, 2019 19:29 IST