The embassies of Japan, China and India had announced they would not send staff to Sri Lanka for travel this year
Sri Lanka has reopened international tourist and travel visas for all countries including the US, Britain and Australia, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.
The tourist visa, previously only available to travellers from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Palestine, will now be extended to other destinations.
China, the United States, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Italy, Greece, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada, Norway, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Brunei will be the first countries with which Sri Lanka will negotiate travel visas.
The decisions were taken after a recent Cabinet meeting presided over by Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, who was elected last year for the second term, officials said.
The embassies of China, Japan and India had announced they would not send staff to Sri Lanka for travel this year.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman, Rauf Hakeem, said the visa was initially introduced as an exception until the members of the state-run China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) vessel recently detained in Sri Lanka’s port of Trincomalee to join a larger vessel were released.
More than 300 Sri Lankan sailors have been detained in Chinese waters over an incident which occurred during international sailing activities in the Bay of Bengal.