There is political turmoil in Sri Lanka. The parliament of Sri Lanka has been dealing with a political crisis for a while now. The crisis emerged after the election, during which Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed victory.
The new party SLPP beat the Sri Lanka Party for Freedom. A political crisis emerged as a result. People planning to travel to Sri Lanka in the near future are advised to check the travel advice of the government.
Visa required for Sri Lanka
For trips to Sri Lanka, a travel visa is mandatory. Anyone travelling to Sri Lanka needs this Sri Lanka visa. Children are no exception. Applying for a visa can be easily done online. Applying for a visa takes a maximum of five minutes and costs € 14,95 per person.
When applying for the Sri Lanka visa it is possible to make several applications at once (group application). However, each visa has to be paid for separately. Paying for the visa can be done online through Visa, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal. Applying can be done 24 hours a day. In general, the visa is issued within a few days, unless it concerns an urgent application. In these cases, approval takes about 23 minutes.
In 2009, the thirty-year civil war in Sri Lanka came to an end. Travellers still experience the results of this; there is heightened security by police and the Sri Lankan military. It is important to always carry identification with you. Make sure your passport can be presented if asked for, as well as the visa. Travellers would therefore do well to keep the digital visa with them after it is issued.
The east and north of Sri Lanka in particular have heightened security. These places have so-called risk areas. There are minefields in these areas that haven’t been cleaned up after the civil war. It is not advised to divert from the road or to leave it.
All areas north of the A12 are unsafe. Also avoid parts of the Trincomalee, Batticaloa and the Ampara districts.
Be careful with your personal belongings. The number of robberies and assaults in Sri Lanka is continuously on the rise. Be careful in areas where a large number of people gather, such as beaches. The advice especially applies to women travelling alone.
Good to know
Sri Lanka has her own laws, rules and customs. Sri Lanka is a country with a lot of religions. Most people are Buddhist. Wear appropriate clothing when visiting religious places and cover your shoulders and legs. It is not permitted to show Buddha tattoos in public. if the traveller has such a tattoo, they are advised to cover it up at all times.
Furthermore. it is not allowed to photograph yourself with your back to a Buddha statue. It is also not allowed to photograph heavily guarded areas. The same applies to military personnel or people in uniform. Don’t make any pictures of government buildings or military objects.
Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country. Homosexuality is a crime there. This doesn’t just apply to the locals, but also to tourists and foreigners. Watch the way you conduct yourself in public.
About the Sri Lanka visa
For trips to Sri Lanka, the traveller needs a visa. The passport needs to be valid for at least six more months after arrival in Sri Lanka. Apply for the tourist visa at least 30 days before departure to Sri Lanka. It is not allowed to do other things on a tourist visa. Volunteer work, studying, journalism, business or similar activities are not allowed on a tourist visa.