Colombo, April 25 (newsin.asia) – The visa on arrival programme which was to be rolled out on May 1 has been put on hold in response to security concerns in the country, the Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry said in a statement Thursday.
Visa to enter Sri Lanka was to be granted to citizens of 39 countries on arrival in the country from May 1, on gratis basis as per a Cabinet decision earlier this month.
However owing to the current security situation following the terror attacks on Easter Sunday, the government has decided to put the programme on hold until further notice.
“Although arrangements were in place to issue visa on arrival for citizens of 39 countries we have now decided to hold it for the time being in consideration of the current security situation. Investigations have revealed foreign links to the attacks and we don’t want this facility to be abused,” noted Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga.
The visa on arrival pilot programme was part of a larger initiative to increase tourist arrivals to the country during the six month off-season period from May to October.