Thursday, 9 May 2019
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
45. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to change the travel status to Sri Lanka in view of violence in the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20259/19]
The attacks in the Sri Lankan cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa on Easter Sunday resulted in the deaths of over 250 people and injured hundreds more. I wish to record my strong condemnation of these atrocities, and to extend my sympathies and condolences to the families and friends of those injured and killed.
Following the attacks on 21 April my Department updated its travel advice for Sri Lanka to advise Irish citizens to follow the instructions and advice of local authorities and stay indoors where possible, as well as to warn that travel restrictions and curfews were in place across the island. This advice was further updated in the following days as more details of the attacks emerged, and to reflect that a State of Emergency was declared on 23 April. On 25 April my Department changed the Security Status for Sri Lanka to “Avoid non-essential travel”. This is the second most severe travel warning my Department issues and was in response to the ongoing volatile security situation in the country.
My Department continually reviews its travel advice based on the reports from Irish missions, local contacts, EU partners and a wide range of other sources.