As you may be already aware Sri Lanka has lifted State of Emergency. Other than a common protest once in a while there aren’t any permanent protests at present.
There is a continues supply of fuel though there are still few hiccups. However, we manage our daily affairs effectively.
Tourism industry is given preference for fuel, hence tourists vehicles does not have any issues to travel around the country. The hotels too are given priority for fuel to fill up the generators, therefore power is supplied to guests without any interruptions. Most of the tourism generating countries have softened the travel advisories including France, Norway, Switzerland, UK, Sweden, Netherland and Denmark. All other affairs functions smoothly including the supply of food and drinks.
We thank you for your patience and promoting Sri Lanka.
In the light of latest developments in Sri Lanka, we wish to assure all visitors to the island that in spite of the State of Emergency that has been declared and the curfew imposed on the Western Province, all tourists in country are continuing with their different itineraries without interruption and with minimum inconvenience. All cultural sites and National Parks remain open to visitors.
The protest rallies are only in and around Colombo and they have been peaceful protests throughout. The state of emergency and the curfew have been declared only as a precautionary measure.
We will keep updating you on future developments.
A brief of the outcome from the protest of 9th July
The protestors have been calling for long for the removal of the President , Prime minister and the government for a considerable period of time. The majority of Sri Lankan’s feel the government was corrupt and the issues that we are facing are simply due to their bad management. Since there was no proper response from the government the demonstrators and the societies at large walked out of their houses and showed their displeasure. Some of them in large crowds walked into the president’s residence too.
The president and prime minister thereafter, have agreed to step down from their positions from the 13th of July to pave the way to form a new government. Thereafter all political party leaders met in the evening and have agreed to the following.
- To appoint the speaker as the interim caretaker.
- To form a cabinet of ministers from all parties for a period of 6 months.
Thereafter to hold elections to form a new government.
Except for one or two incidents, the demonstrations were peaceful. I personally feel , the direction is good for the country. This is for your information.
Except for the unfortunate incident on the 09th May the country is progressing well. The peaceful protests are in front of the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo and a few other cities. The main issue we have is the continuous supply of diesel and gas and there are queues near the Diesel and Gas stations.
The good news is United Kingdom have relaxed the travel advisory to Sri Lanka.
This will help and we are confident that European countries and Australia too will follow to relax the travel advisory considering the progress we have made. The German ambassador in particular is way very positive. The Petroleum corporation on a request from Sri Lanka Tourism have agreed to have dedicated fuel stations in Negombo, Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwaraeliya/ Bandarawela and Tissamaharama and two locations in South West coast beach for the tourism industry. This too will help to service without any interruptions.
The government in a communique says that the fuel issue for general public will be continuing for the next 2 months and a permanent solution will be made. This is for your information.
For your information Australian cricket team is on a long tour of Sri Lanka playing cricket in Kandy, Colombo, Galle, Hambantota, etc., for nearly 1 ½ months from 01st June to 16th July 2022.
The government of Sri Lanka is prioritizing the tourism sector as a key contributor to our economy. Therefore, all precautionary measures are in place to ensure tourists are not affected due to the above mentioned demand control measures.
Since our last situation report the country has progressed slowly and steadily. Still the major issues have been the regular power cuts (2 hours during day time and 1 ½ hours in the evening) and shortage of diesel and gas to cook. However, the distribution of gas and the diesel have improved since then.
The new Cabinet of Ministers under the new Prime Minister is working on a short term plan to minimize expenditure and to attend to essential services. We are favorably discussing loans with IMF, world bank and ADB. There are few countries who are volunteered to help Sri Lanka including India, Japan and China to overcome the urgent issues.
One of the main issues for economic instability is the tax concession they offered in 2019 which resulted in low funds in the treasury. The present government has decided to increase the tax from 8% to 12% with effect from 1st June 2022. Tourism industry since 2019 April was favorably considered for an VAT exemption due to the Easter Bomb attack in 2019 and Covid thereafter in 2020. However, according to a new budget proposal for Sri Lanka in June 2022 they have imposed VAT for the Tourism Industry too. This is a serious concern considering the time and the industry is negotiating with the Finance Ministry to see the possibilities to exempt us from VAT or offer us a favorable solution.
Like I said in the previous situation report Tourism Industry has been given preference to obtain Diesel and Gas. Therefore, up to now the services in the hotels and transportation of clients have been continued as usual and uninterrupted.
The peaceful protests are continuing and especially near the Presidential Secretariat and few other major cities. However, everything else is normal as usual. All places of interest are open for visitors.