24 November, 2020

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UK Travel Warning: ‘Women Should Take Particular Care’, ‘Sexual Offences Including On Minors’ , ‘An Upsurge Of Nationalism In Sri Lanka’

By Colombo Telegraph

“Violent crimes against foreigners are relatively infrequent, although there have been an increasing number of reports of sexual offences including on minors.  When travelling around Sri Lanka, you should make arrangements through reputable travel companies and exercise appropriate caution.  Women should take particular care when travelling alone, or in small groups, and carry personal alarms.  See our Rape and Sexual Assault Abroad page.” says  UPDATED British Government travel advisory warning notice.

Updated 14 August 2012 travel advisory warning notice says; “Organised and armed gangs are known to operate in Sri Lanka and have been responsible for targeted kidnappings and violence.  While there is no evidence to suggest that British nationals are at particular risk, gangs have been known to frequent tourist areas.  Although incidents involving tourists are rare, a British national was killed during a violent attack by a gang in a tourist resort in December 2011.”

“Credit card fraud is the most common type of crime affecting visitors. It is advisable to use cash wherever possible and to use ATMs attached to banks or major hotels. Do not let your credit card leave your sight when you use it. Some travellers experience problems using their credit / debit cards on arrival in Sri Lanka when their banks’ automated fraud protection system blocks transactions. It may be useful to inform your bank in advance of your intended travel arrangements. If your card is blocked, you will need to contact your bank to re-activate it. There are plenty of money-changers in tourist areas if you want to change cash.” the notice further says.

Under the subheading Safety and Security – Political Situation it says ” Travellers should note that the end of the military conflict in May 2009 has seen an upsurge of nationalism in Sri Lanka. As a result, anti-Western (particularly anti-British) rhetoric has increased. This has led to violent protests against the British High Commission and other diplomatic premises. Although no protests have so far been directed at the British community more generally, you should be vigilant and avoid demonstrations.”

To read the full updated British Government travel advisory warning notice click here

 

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Latest comments

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    Thank you Britain! Keep up the travel warning until there is a conviction of the case re. the Christmas eve murder of a British tourist in Tangalle where crime by Rajapassa regime thugs is a way of life and a young girl was gang raped with impunity recently! We Patriotic Sri Lankans support you for trying to make the criminal Rajapassa regime accountable to the murdered British tourist.
    Rajapassa, what do you expect when the guy accused of murdering a British tourist and raping his girl friend has been reinstated as a Provincial council member by that petrol hora Susil Prmajayantha.. conferring complete immunity of the criminals who support a criminal regime.
    Well done John Rankin and Britain please keep up the travel warning until there is a conviction on the murder case – Sri Lankans who are tired of regime impunity in Lanka support you!

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      Britain has done the right thing! The Colombo regimes criminal record in governance, and impunity for political thugs is a good reason for a travel warning on Lanka today. Other countries should follow the UK example and issue travel warnings to this banana republic until the governance system improves and regime thugs are convicted..
      India should also have a travel warning issued on the Rajapassa regime and stop tourists going to Lanka!
      In any case it is only uneducated Basil – so-called ‘minister of economic development’ – the LA petrol pump man, who is tourist and money mad thinks that a country can be developed through tourism – when all institutions are falling apart and corrupt because of political interference..

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      Dinuk, I wonder whther there is genuine effort and interest all round, including the British to wipe out violence and crime, when it affects their larger interests, in safeguarding the Corrupt Governing here, lest they upset the apple cart for all vested interest. Hence they have to be mindful of their own interest at cost to individuals as the Brit who payed with his life. Afterall, although he was a Brit he was not English in the sense of his linage and even if he happened to be white skinned Brit full blooded, yet the response would have been similar considering the life of one individual, the benifits they accrue as a Nation otherwise, from Corrupt Leaders as MR whose image is repaired at great cost to the Tax Payers of this country, by no one else but a British Co. Bell Pottinger? It is not due to lack of evidence that the British is not pushing the matter but is more concerned about the damage it would cause MR’s Govt. For the information of all, the entire incident was filmed by another fellow tourist with his mobile camera who was present that day and when the story reached of this filming, the Rajapaksa Junta was seeking the tourist obviously to destroy the evidence but he had left the country the following day. Do you seriously believe he would not have released it to the British authorities? No the British authorities will use that evidence and the murder to get their business agendas through with MR. That is all. Otherwise see the praise these British Diplomats heap on MR whenever they visit this country? Did you see the JOKER Chris Nonis the HC surrounded by the powers that run this country long after it’s Independence? This Travel Advisory is for the average in case something should happen, for them to escape blame by saying we said so. All these buggers, the Bloody Americans, the Brits, the Australians, are all concerned about their Business Interests and not of Human Ethics anymore, though they may pretend. There are only a few in those countries who are genuinely interested in Human Ethics and Rights, but they too are steam rolled by the Scum of theirs, hand in glove with the scum here. It is indeed a sad situation for all mankind and it is no fault of one individual Ranil Wickremasinghe the Punch Bag for the corrupt.

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        The President of Lanka is desperate for foreign visitors and tourists – look who is here the President of Sechelles and before that a dictator from some African Timbanktoo!
        Rajapassa claims the Lanka is the hub of Asia but no head of state of any significance has chosen to visit the Miracle/Debacle!
        Rather the Miracle is prostrating itself to attract FDI and tourist with massive tax holidays like that offered for the paltry so-called five star hotel that’s taking over the former Ceylinco Property on Galle road. What a lot of bull shit the people are being fed in this tiny miracle with 20 Airports for visiting tourists!
        And apparently the Commonwealth Parliament circus is supposed to be hitting town in September… let’s break out the bottles of wine and crank up the song!

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    “British Airways is to resume flights to Sri Lanka next year after a 15-year absence from the Indian Ocean island.

    BA will fly from Gatwick to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, via Male in the Maldives, from March 31, 2013. The carrier had stopped flying to the island in 1998 due to the country’s long-running civil war which ended in 2009.”

    Kadavule!

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      Ponniah Mahalingam

      prays, begs or expresses his surprise:

      “Kadavule!”

      Did you pray to or beg “sun god”?

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    There is no upsurge in sexual assault or on children.
    This has been going on for a decade and unfortunately not reported as most of the incidents are not reported or covered up.

    GOSL sheds crocodile tears about the 594 so called child soldiers who were captured or surrendered, and most of them were between 17 and 18 years, and others were over 16 out of a 25,000 member rebel group.

    But the thousands of children in the West and South who are subjected to sexual crimes, sex tourism, child pornography, child prostitution, child trafficking, rapes and molestation including incest is ignored and under reported. I publicized my letter to UNICEF nearly 10 years ago on the above 2 subjects.

    Strangely such incidents do not occur in the NorthEast, except the past 3 years 80,000 war widows are sexually attacked, and some of their grown up daughters too, by the young frustrated Sinhala soldiers who are not disciplined. They are given a free hand and abuse their powers is the daily complaint, and there are no police stations in most of the areas.

    Tamil widows are also hesitant to make such complaints as further abuse take place in the hands of the Police as well, who are Sinhalese immaterial whether they speak Tamil or not.

    All complaints by the Tamil politicians or civic society falls on deaf ears of the Rajapakses accompanied with denials. It is sad and humiliating to all the Tamils creating further bitterness. Tamil women and girls can only pray to the Gods for relief as the diaspora and others are virtually helpless.

    Are the drought in Anuradhapura/Pollonorruwa and the power cuts Island wide an accident or an act of God, of course via the act of all the Rajapakses……

    How many ships have called in the Hambantota port, despite forcing the car carriers to discharge in Hambantota instead of Colombo, from May this year.. The same fate awaits the MRMR airport in Mattala for the Mattayas. Only Mihin Air and Sri Lankan would be forced to use that airport, further inconveniencing the passengers and tickets costing a little more or subsidized by the National carrier which lost over 20 Billion rupees excluding depreciation.

    What a surprise, President Rajapakse’s brother in law a planter who took early retirement and went to UK is the Chairman, and one corrupt MP from the South is pulling most of the strings.. Now British Airways are starting direct flights from Gatwick to Maldives and then to Colombo, where Maldive flights are quite lucrative with the $2,000 per day resorts packages..Even the Tamil tourist will likely use the BA flights although the airfares are $100-200 more.

    Why did Britain wait this long for the warning to be issued should be questioned.

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      Donald, Here’s a vacancy for a comic writer, you should apply for this, http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/12/comic-book-writer-wanted/
      You will not be a good writer but there is always some comical value to what you write.

      Here’s what http://www.childsoldierrelief.org says about LTTE terrorists’ child soldier recruitment policy.

      “The LTTE deliberately recruited children with its “one family, one fighter” policy, which demanded that every family contribute one person to fight, regardless of age. However, this policy was aimed at recruiting soldiers over the age of 18, although a few hundred child soldiers remained with the LTTE by the end of 2007. Since 2002, the LTTE had recruited more than 6,000 child soldiers, with about one-third of the recruits being girls and the average age rising from 14 to 16. The LTTE had also enacted forced village-based military training for people aged 15 to 50 in LTTE-controlled areas.”

      One could be stupid but not that much to be mean to those mothers whose children were proscribed to a terrorist campaign. Croc tears is also OK to cover up guilty feeling but poor mothers lost their kids at such tender age to entertain a maniac and his co-horts living in luxury abroad.

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        Rubert Vanderkoon

        60 000 Tamil Children slaughtered by ruthless Rajapaksa Regime

        The low life sadists like you, are spitting venom here and laughing at Tamil people continuing sufferings!

        Know your facts before you open your ignorant mouth…. you sorry excuse of condom failures.

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    Abuse of Visa information by GOSL. Written by Senguttuvan:

    http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2012/07/visa-information-used-to-intimidate.html

    Dr. Romesh Seniwiratne is the estranged son of Dr. Brian Seniwiratne now a Senator of TGTE.

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      Donald, I have read the article you have posted, which claims that I am an “agent” of the Government of Sri Lanka. I am no such thing. I also have no idea who this Tamil gentleman is, or why he was denied a visa to Sri Lanka. I also have no idea who Senguttuvan who posted this article in Sri Lanka Guardian is. Maybe he should have checked his facts with me before making such scurrilous allegations.

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    This is Crime statistics got from web in Big Apple, New York where lot of tourists are daily visiting …

    Year  Population  Index  Violent  Property  Murder Rape  Robbery  assault  Burglary  Theft  VehicleTheft 

    2008 19,467,789  466,131  77,546  388,585  836  2,799  31,789 42,122 65,537 297,952 25,096 
    2009 19,541,453  452,647  75,110  377,537  781  2,582  28,141 43,606 62,769 292,897 21,871 
    2010 19.378,102 452,138 75,977 376,161 866 2,771 28,473 43,867 64,973 290,755 20,433

    I do not know how this compares with Sri Lanka’s statistics … Whatever the case, crime should be severely dealt specially with visitors to a country …. Selectively damning a country for various agendas is a game play by individuals and countries ….
    To be fair, this travel advisory Is not bad … Actually it says “…  Although incidents involving tourists are rare, … “

  • 0
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    What a big embarrassment for Sri Lanka. We have earned the ugly reputation of being a country where no foreigner is safe. The horrible incident last year of a British national last year was a big shame for this country.
    We also know his girlfriend was terribly injured after being attacked by thugs. If the Rajapakasa regime wants this country to earn them money by promoting tourism, this is no way to go. Tourists will NEVER want to enter this country, because of the international warnings about our country, and we are going to lose revenue.
    It seems there is no justice whatsoever for the victims of thuggery, and crimes like murder.
    I hope more countries warn their citizens not to risk their safety coming here, until the complacent Rajapaksa’s get their stupid act together.

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    Good work UK!
    The Tourist-mad Rajapassa bros need to be taught a lesson and this is a good one! One would think that Rajapassa thought that his main vote bank were tourists – notwithstanding the nationalist grandstanding! The academics, farmers, doctors, lawyers, CEB workers are are on strike, the education system a mess, corruption from the Securities and Exchange commission down is rife in the finance sector, ancient trees are being cut down to pave roads in a country hat already has the highest number of roads per square kilometer in in the Asian region for (the Rajapakse brats car races), and the environment is being destroyed, energy guzzling hotels being built willy nilly on stolen lands by regime cronies to keep TOURISTS happy! Meanwhile farmers are staved of water and there are electic power cuts! What sort of “development” posited on social, environmental and human and institutional decay is this?!

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    SRI LANKA, IS A LAND LIKE NO OTHER, RULED BY A BRAINLESS MOB, CURSED BY THE GODS.
    ALL THE EDUCATED, HONEST, HARD WORKING AND GOD FEARING CITIZENS OF SRI LANKA, WHEREVER THEY RESIDE IN THE WORLD, SHOULD PRAY TO THEIR RESPECTIVE GODS, TO GET OUR ISLAND PARADISE, FREED FROM THESE BRAINLESS RULERS. ( DEFINITELY NOT LEADERS )
    PLEASE GOD RELEASE US FROM THE EVIL CLUTCHES OF THESE CURSED RULERS.

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    Gnanakoon should stop with his tirade. Yes, abuse and violence against women and children and men are on the rise….. And Britains warning is justified. As for his comments, don’t forget the forced recruitment of children by the LTTE… And the indiscrimanate bombing of innocents, THAT TOO WAS A GROSS VIOLATION,!

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      Concerned,
      Please do not take cover to defend this Family Regime by reminding the LTTE actions, which are now known to everyone in the island as well as internationally.
      How can you compare the actions of a rebel group(which took up arms to safe-guard minority against attrocities by racist Governments) with that of a so called “Democratically voted Government” which is duty bound to protect every citizen?

      Have you read the record(amongst many)of attrocitis by the armed forces on Tamils carried out even before the LTTE came into existance?
      The report is voluminous, however since you are “CONCERNED” you could read online on this website:
      http://www.nesohr.org/files/Lest_We_Forget.pdf

  • 0
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    While I am 110% behind the GOSL in their handling of Tamil terrorism, I DO have concerns about the perception of impunity for crimes committed by the well connected. The criminals who engaged in the disgraceful incident at Nature resort near Tangalla at Christmas are locked up BUT for how long? I believe they should ALL be executed for murder and aggravated rape in concert! GOSL needs to send a message of ZERO TOLERANCE for crime against tourists; this is the best step to assuage security concerns for the huge increase in overseas arrivals expected.

    Each trip I love Lanka more and more, but there are 2 serious problems to be corrected ASAP if the targets for foreign tourist arrivals are to be achieved:

    1- sexual harassment is WAY out of control as I personally experienced just this week when my wife was touched by a drunk in the parking lot across from the new Tsunami Temple in Matara. I shoved him and screamed dont touch my wife! His response was ‘I did not know it was your wife”. While part of me wanted to pummel him into the ground, as the ONLY foreigner in a very Lankan area I thought it a bad idea. But the fact he assumed he could get a away with it shows a climate of disrespect for women in lanka. Local women dress so conservatively to try and minimize such harassment but it IS out of control. The CULTURE NEEDS TO CHJANGE! In other Buddhist countries women are treated with respect; NOT SO in SL!

    2-Having just left today, I will say the cascading brownouts are a HUGE problem for tourists. After this trip, I will not consider staying at any hotel without a generator because the electric system is just too damn unreliable. In Arugam Bay there were days where the brownout lasted 24 hours! If the hydroelectric system is not adequate, and the Chinese coal plant at Puttalalm is already wearing out (“made in China” never comes with a warranty!) , something needs to be dome to stabiliize the grid. If India could manage their own electricity problems, but they cant as the worlds largest brownout last month showed, then a foreign partner is much needed. USA is well poised with the technology to start a MAJOR solar and wind based power system in SL and this needs to be looked into ASAP.

    • 0
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      Thank you very much for your unbiased contribution and i accept  fully the weaknesses of sri lankan society as you mentioned and all srilankans should do their best to get rid of weaknesses … Strict law and order enforcement should be a must …
      The problem with many writers in the web including this site is that they do not accept the obvious, as you mentioned …. “While I am 110% behind the GOSL in their handling of Tamil terrorism,  …. “

      These writers, I categories them as artificial ‘pessimists’, never see anything even a small tiny little thing good in SL … I do not know how these ‘pessimists’ going on living day to day …. I sometimes think that most important thing in life or regarding countries is  ‘optimism’ but knowing the weaknesses …

      Many of these artificial ‘pessimists’ do not like the ending of extreme unbearable misery due to terror which lasted for three decades …. Some wanted ‘terrorists’ to win and some wanted ‘eternal bleeding’ … Obviously, they are unhappy … These writers include many former and current university dons  …. Some articles by them are currently in this web site …  Dr. Wickrambahu Karunarathne, professor Kumar David, professor Jayadeva Uyangoda (head, political science dept?), Dr Ruwan Weerasinghe are some names …
      If you read articles of those, SL has nothing nothing what so ever to be proud of … One was mentioning about ‘brain drain’ to scare the country …
       If you could remember the past, separatists ware so confident in 80’s that SL would go down the drain just because Tamil professionals were leaving … It did not materialize and the separatists had to depend on raw ‘terrorism’ instead of ‘brain drain” …  
      Country would certainly not loose any advantage without these ‘pessimists’ because their ‘pessimism’ is not natural but artificial which fueled by various hidden agendas, none of which has genuine concern of well being of Sri Lanka ….

    • 0
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      American Lanka Lover thinks:

      “In other Buddhist countries women are treated with respect; NOT SO in SL!”

      Is it true? How about Thailand?

      You say:

      “While I am 110% behind the GOSL in their handling of Tamil terrorism,”

      Were you tough on Sinhala/Buddhist terrorism?

      You say:

      “The CULTURE NEEDS TO CHJANGE!”

      No, the people must change.

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        The JVP insurrections have been put down twice and GOSL must remain ever vigilant about a third insurrection by Sinhala extremists. And the radical monks (eg Dambulla incident) should be prosecuted, although this is a sensitive issue for GOSL given its support base.

        GOSL is really in a very tough position trying to hew to a middle course of pursuing reconciliation with Tamils while keeping the Sinhala extremists under control. This is precisely the reason I believe they deserve a lot more latitude than they are given by the international community. They face an extreme threat from both sides of the spectrum, yet the international community expects them to adhere to standards that are unrealistic for the rough and tumble politics of South Asia. Expecting the security forces to show the restraint required for the military and police of a Western European nation is completely unrealistic. They are under siege and must employ extreme measures to prevent anarchy or civil war.

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    On the other side of the coin take note of the many who dress scantily….drink excessively…..associate too closely…..and then complain !!

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    American Lanka Lover – Methinks, like many, the international community has given sufficient time for the Rajapakses to produce a unity and reconciliation package. Their perfidious problem is similar to that “eat the cake and have the cake” dilemma. They very much want to settle the problem and get into the history books. At the same time, they are unable to get out of the deadly embrace of the Buddhist Sinhala supremacist cabal that helped them, on a quid pro quo basis, to come to power – by deception. So the Rajapakses seem to have decided “to reap the hay while the sunshines” because they know the end is nigh. By then, the country’s economic life would have been strangled lifeless – something for which they give tuppence. Of course, the threat of Geneve/November will see a few trickles flowing towards the Tamils – but the latter is far savvy for that. The Rajapakses will be rudely reminded in Geneva they cannot delay the Tamils their PC in the North any longer. Meanwhile, the country continues to go down the drain – thanks to the Rajapakses.

    Senguttuvan

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    Nationalism is the cancer of human race. It doesn’t make nationalism right any more than slavery or genocide or oppression based on gender, all of which have been rationalized by their practitioners. We have learned to swim as fish and fly as birds but we have not yet learned to walk as brothers and sisters. The real welfare of human race is to share love, peace, and prosper.

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