Sri Lanka reopens borders to international travellers

This article is over 7 months old Authorities say free movement of tourists to Maldives and other local destinations is one of first steps in restoring normalcy in the country Sri Lanka has reopened…

Sri Lanka reopens borders to international travellers

This article is over 7 months old

Authorities say free movement of tourists to Maldives and other local destinations is one of first steps in restoring normalcy in the country

Sri Lanka has reopened its borders to international travellers, as it pushes on with the development of a new constitution to replace a discredited one from 1977.

Sri Lanka reopens international borders to allow free movement of tourists Read more

The country has closed its international airports and long routes to tourists since January, when the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom party lost a local election to the Tamil National Alliance.

The TNA warned the loss of tourist revenue would worsen its economic plight, with the Rajapaksa government overseeing more than 40 years of war against Tamil separatists.

After the state secured the election, the government announced the repeal of a devolution law that gave local provincial councils powers.

Sri Lanka’s new foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera, said the new constitution was among the first steps to restore normality.

“From this moment, individuals with respect and equity, who wish to pursue their education, work or investment in Sri Lanka, can freely and without any restrictions, visit and have access to the island as tourists,” he said.

A day after the election, India had warned that it could isolate Sri Lanka, without directly mentioning the political situation.

“In times of changes in its domestic, regional or global situations, India will continue to extend unequivocal support to our regional and subregional partners,” Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar had said on Thursday 27 January.

• This article was amended on 23 July 2018 to correct an inaccurate passage in the original version

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