G.L rushes to UK to discus travel advice

Sri Lanka External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris left for London over the weekend in an attempt to meet British officials and urge them to withdraw a travel advisory on Sri Lanka, a government official said on Sunday.

External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilleke Amunugama told reporters that Peiris was hopeful of meeting his counterpart though it was still not confirmed.

The advisory states there is an upsurge in nationalism and anti- Western rhetoric in Sri Lanka and cautioned Britons visiting, working or residing in the country to be extra vigilant at all times.

It also advised Britons to stay clear of local demonstrations, while women moving singly or in small groups were told to be armed with self-alarm devices as there was a steep increase in rape and sexual molestation cases.

The Sri Lankan government had initially raised its concerns with the British High Commission in Colombo over the travel advice when it was first released last month.

However the issue went unattended as the travel advice was released with amendments days later but with the same controversial notes.

Tourism industry officials in Sri Lanka had raised concerns over the impact the travel advice may have on British tourists visiting Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is expecting more tourist arrivals from Britain next year with British Airways resuming flights to Colombo in March 2013. (Xinhua)