As massive protests erupted across Sri Lanka after the economic crisis, several countries issued travel warnings for the island nation.
Along with the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have issued travel warnings to their citizens to reconsider visiting the island nation, Colombo Gazette reported.
The United States has urged its citizens to reconsider travel to Sri Lanka as the country is experiencing shortages of fuel and cooking gas as well as some essential medicines and food items, due to the current economic situation in the country.
“There have recently been protests over the economic situation and queues at gas stations, grocery stores and some pharmacies. Protests have taken place across the country and have been mostly peaceful. In some cases , police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters.. There were also daily planned power outages across the island, as well as unscheduled blackouts as fuel for generators relief is increasingly scarce. Public transportation in some cases has been limited or reduced. Travelers should monitor local media for updates on the current situation,” the U.S. Department of State said.
Australia has warned that public protests are taking place across Sri Lanka and that a public emergency can be declared and curfews imposed with limited notice, Colombo Gazette reported.
“Avoid demonstrations and events that attract large groups. Always carry relevant travel and identification documents with you. Follow the advice of local authorities and monitor the media for updates. “Projected fuel supply and extended power outages. Import delays may impact your ability to access certain medicines and food items,” Australians have been warned.
The UK said the economic situation was deteriorating in Sri Lanka with shortages of basic necessities including medicine, fuel and food due to a shortage of hard currency to pay for imports, reported Colombo Gazette.
“There can be long lines at grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies. Local authorities can impose power rationing, leading to power outages. There have been a number of protests since March 31, 2022. There are reports that further protests are likely to take place across the island. The Government of Sri Lanka may impose local restrictions at short notice. You should be vigilant, avoid any demonstration or large gathering and follow the advice of local authorities,” the UK Foreign Office said.
Canada noted that on April 1, 2022, the President declared a nationwide state of emergency following protests in Colombo. The state of emergency will give local authorities the power to arrest individuals without a warrant.
More protests are planned in Colombo and across the country in the coming days. Curfews may be imposed on short notice, particularly in Colombo.
Canadians were urged to expect a heightened security presence, to monitor local media to stay informed of developments, to avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place, and to follow the instructions of local authorities, Colombo Gazette reported.
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