Travel advisories have been issued for Sri Lanka as a result of the August 17 Parliament elections and fears of violence taking place ahead of and on election day.
The Australian Government has urged its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution in its travel advisory while a few other countries are also scheduled to release travel advisories closure to election day.
“Parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka on 17 August 2015. We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution at this time due to the potential for demonstrations and civil unrest in the period surrounding the elections. You should avoid all demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent or be a target for politically-motivated attacks. Police have used tear gas in response to protests. Curfews may also be imposed at short notice. Monitor the media and follow the advice of local authorities at all times,” the Australian travel advise notes..
Separately, it also says military and police checkpoints have been established along some main roads and armed security forces have a visible presence throughout the country. Road blocks may be established without warning. The security forces have wide-ranging powers, including the authority to impose curfews, detain without charge for extended periods of time and to search individuals, vehicles, residences and commercial premises. You should comply with instructions issued by security personnel and carry proof of identification, such as your passport, at all times.
Australians have been encouraged to keep their passports with them at all times and to ask to contact the Australian High Commission if detained. (Colombo Gazette)