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India issues advisory for citizens travelling to Sri Lanka

Passengers wait inside the arrival hall at Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka on April 22, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AFP

As more violence erupted in Sri Lanka during raids by security forces in the wake of the Easter bombings, the government has advised Indian citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Sri Lanka.

“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,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on April 27, adding that the nationwide emergency and night-time curfews in place will make travelling within Sri Lanka more difficult.

Several countries including the U.S., the U.K, Canada and Australia, who had issued travel advisories after the Easter bombing, have upgraded their advisories after reports that more attacks could be planned by the same group.

On Friday, the Australian government said in its advisory that terrorists were “likely to carry out further attacks in Sri Lanka. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners”, while the U.S. raised its advisory to a “Level 3”, telling American nationals to “reconsider travel to Sri Lanka” and ordering the departure of all schoolgoing children of U.S. government employees and others.

Indian officials have been concerned about the possibility of more terror attacks in Sri Lanka, as well as their links to groups in South India, particularly Tamil Nadu.

India’s travel advisory came nearly a week after the bombings on April 21 at a number of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, carried out by suicide bombers believed to be members of an ISIS-inspired group the National Towheeth Jamaat (NTJ), that killed more than 250 people.

Subsequently, Sri Lankan police have narrowed in on others affiliated to the bombers, making several arrests, and recoveries of a large amount of explosives materials.

At least 15 people were killed inside a house in the Eastern town of Kalmunai, where three suicide bombers detonated explosives and others exchanged gunfire with police.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 2:30:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-issues-advisory-for-citizens-travelling-to-sri-lanka/article26967636.ece

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