The Department of Foreign Affairs recommends that Irish citizens obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling to or in Sri Lanka which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. Visitors should be conscious of health precautions and should consult a tropical medicine adviser before travel to or in Sri Lanka. You should also ensure that immunisations against common infections are up to date before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all activities you want to undertake.
Irish citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING
Sri Lanka has been affected by severe weather which has led to extensive flooding in the central, eastern and northern parts of the country. Travellers should also be alert to the risk of landslides in areas which have had heavy rainfall. Travellers should consult with their tour operator or accommodation provider before travelling. Travellers should also monitor local media for information on weather warnings etc.
You must have permission from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence before travelling to the northern districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaittivu and Vavuniya. You should not attempt to travel to these districts without first obtaining the required permission.
A H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu):
There has been an increase in H1N1 (Swine Flu) in Sri Lanka with Colombo reported to be worst affected.
For entry requirements for Sri Lanka, please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Sri Lanka.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
SAFETY & SECURITY
There is a high threat from terrorism in Sri Lanka. Although the LTTE suffered a military defeat in May 2009, attacks cannot be ruled out and could be indiscriminate.
The conflict between the Government and the LTTE ("Tamil Tigers") ended in May 2009 and all territory in Sri Lanka is now under Government control. However, politically motivated violence, abductions and criminality persist throughout Sri Lanka, particularly in the north and east.
The government of Sri Lanka's security legislation provides wide ranging discretionary powers for the security forces, and travellers should be conscious of this. Always carry formal photographic identification with you. Detentions do occur, particularly of people of Tamil ethnicity. If you are detained, you should ask the authorities to contact the Embassy of Ireland in New Delhi.
There has been an upsurge of nationalism in Sri Lanka following the
end of the military conflict. Anti-Western rhetoric has increased,
including from senior Government figures.
Irish citizens living in Sri Lanka or visiting the country should at all times be vigilant. You should follow local developments closely, monitor local media, be aware of your surroundings and avoid political gatherings or demonstrations.
Irish citizens travelling to Sri Lanka are strongly advised to comply with government and security instructions, to follow local developments closely, and to avoid political gatherings or demonstrations.
Petty crime such as pick-pocketing does occur, especially in crowded places. Visitors should take good care of their passport and credit and ATM cards. Credit card fraud has been reported. Though not very frequent, there have been reports of violent crime against foreigners. Travellers should exercise caution, particularly after dark.
LOCAL LAWS & CUSTOMS
Penalties for possession, dealing and trafficking drugs are severe and include the death penalty. Visitors should stay away from illegal substances. Same-sex relations are illegal. Travellers should be sensitive to local norms of dress and sensibilities. Nude or topless sunbathing is generally not allowed. Travellers should dress modestly when visiting religious shrines or temples.
Poor standards of driving and bad road maintenance lead to frequent traffic accidents. Buses and trains are particularly hazardous. Taxis and car hire are cheap in tourist areas.
Travellers should be aware that many beaches and coastal areas in Sri Lanka have strong currents, dangerous rip tides and big surf. Travellers should always seek local advice before entering the water and be alert to the dangers.
Visitors should be conscious of health precautions and should consult a tropical medicine adviser before travel to or in Sri Lanka.
The December 2004 tsunami killed more than 30,000 people and caused extensive damage in the south western, southern and eastern coasts of Sri Lanka.
Inland flooding and landslides occur frequency in the rainy seasons.
Diplomatic and Consular Missions
Diplomatic representation for Sri Lanka is handled by the Embassy in New Delhi (India). Irish citizens resident in Sri Lanka should ensure that they are registered with the Irish Consulate. For all contact details please click here. (Opens in new window)Top