President urges foreign envoys to lift travel advisories

President Sirisena meeting with members of the diplomatic community.

President Maithripala Sirisena has assured foreign diplomats that security situation in the country is rapidly returning to normalcy and urged the envoys to lift the travel advisories issued by their respective countries against travelling to Sri Lanka.

President Sirisena met with few members of the diplomatic community at the President’s official residence on Monday, May 27, on their request to discuss about the progress of the operations carried out by the security forces to strengthen security situation in the country.

Addressing Ambassadors and High Commissioners of United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, United States, Germany, Australia and EU, the President said that that the situation is about 99 per cent secure at present.

He said that due to the successful operations carried out by the security forces and intelligence units, a large number of terrorists and suspects have been arrested and huge quantity of explosives and weapons have been seized.

He thanked the international community for the cooperation and assistance provided to Sri Lanka at this time of need and urged them to continue to provide economic assistance and lift the travel advisories issued to tourists following the Easter Sunday attacks.

Explaining the successful operations carried out by the security forces and intelligence services, he thanked the envoys for the intelligence expertise and cooperation provided by those countries.

President Sirisena said that he was confident that with the current successful operation and with the assistance of foreign expertise on intelligence, the threat of terrorism could be eliminated. He said that in order to ensure non-recurrence of such terror attacks in the future, new regulations are being enacted and new institutions will be set up under the restructuring of security services.

The envoys of foreign countries expressed full support to curb terrorism in Sri Lanka, and thanked the President for the briefing. They said that the information provided are useful for them to evaluate the situation and assured that the travel advisories would be reviewed as soon as possible.

When the envoys asked about the extension of the emergency, President Sirisena replied that it was essential to extend emergency for another month because of the ongoing operations by the security forces. He expressed confidence that the emergency could be lifted at the end of the one month period.

Secretary to the President – Udaya R. Seneviratne, Foreign Secretary – Ravinatha Aryasinha and Additional Secretary – Esala Weerakoon were also present at the discussion.