Sri Lanka Travellers Tips

Due to years of internal military conflict between the government and liberation forces, Sri Lanka was at one time a centre of terrorist activity. With the government succeeding in defeating the liberation uprising in 2009, terrorist activity has been minimized. The government has instituted a very strong security force to prevent an outbreak of violence that once permeated the country. This heightened level of security should not be taken as being fool-proof and it is imperative to remain as watchful in Sri Lanka as you would be travelling anywhere.

Government security forces patrol the areas around military, government, and paramilitary facilities very heavily. As a result, check points and road blocks are frequently found in these areas. You should always take photographic identification at all times. If not presented to a Sri Lankan security guard, you could be detained for a prolonged period of time or even sent to trial. If you are detained, you would want to ask the authorities to contact the British High Commission office.

Crimes against Travellers

The crime that affects most British travellers in Sri Lanka is credit card fraud. It is recommended to inform your bank of your travel arrangements prior to your holiday. Doing so will help prevent a block on transactions upon your arrival. When travelling in Sri Lanka as well as everywhere, do not allow your credit card to leave your sight when it is used. Only use ATM machines that are attached to banks or to large well-known hotels. Carrying cash would prevent credit card theft, and there are many money-changers in larger tourist spots that can readily change your currency.

Other crimes that affect travellers are sexual offenses. The numbers of sex crimes have increased, and include minors. It is advised to travel in small groups, and to carry personal alarm devices if travelling alone. If you should be a victim of crime, it is imperative to alert local authorities. You are also welcome to consult the British Embassy in Sri Lanka for assistance.

Driving in Sri Lanka

Due to the high number of security checkpoints on Sri Lanka’s roads, extra time must be set aside for driving around the island. If documents are not promptly produced, further delays can occur. As a result, you would want to consider a family cars in Sri Lanka, as to minimize any delays on your excursions whilst on holiday. Buses also have a reputation of breaking down often (another reason for car hire) and are involved in a high number of vehicle accidents. Pay extra attention if driving on the road with buses nearby.

Help If Needed

Misfortunes do not take a holiday whilst on holiday, and people have taken ill or became victims of crime while abroad. Therefore, the British Consulate is accessible worldwide if serious misfortune should befall you or anyone in your family while on holiday.

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