Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has held discussions with heads of missions from EU countries to inform them that the country’s political situation was returning to normalcy.
The meeting comes in the wake of travel advisories issued by several countries cautioning their citizens about visiting Sri Lanla following the outbreak of the recent political crisis.
Minister Sagala Ratnayaka, in his capacity as the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister, also joined the meeting and they requested the diplomats to encourage their citizens to visit Sri Lanka.
Ratnayaka has also held a meeting with US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Aliena Teplitz and discussed about strengthening relations between the two governments.
Informed government sources said Wickremesinghe decided to personally approach the diplomats as the country’s tourism industry severely suffered due to the prolonged political crisis.
They added Wickremesinghe also informed Foreign Minister Thilak Marapana to take necessary follow-up action to convey a positive message to the world through foreign diplomats in Colombo.
Although the industry recorded a 17% YOY growth in November, thousands of tourists cancelled their travel plans to Sri Lanka foraring political unrest. If not for the political crisis, 2018 would have been one of the brightest years for Sri Lanka’s tourism sector which operates on a three-year strategic plan (2017-2020).
Several countries, including France,, Germany and the UK have issued travel warnings to their citizens over travel to Sri Lanka, following the island’s plunge into political crisis.