The US has issued a security message for its citizens living in Sri Lanka to be wary of their security against the backdrop of rising anti-western sentiments in the country.
Issuing a security message to US expats in Sri Lanka yesterday, the notice has urged all US citizens to practice caution due to the increased protests in the country. The message is circulated just days after a mob of extremist monks and Rajapaksa regime supporters disrupted a meeting held for families of the disappeared in which US and UK diplomats also attended.
The security message has noted the increase in protests in Sri Lanka since early this year including the:
-anti-western demonstrations against the US, UN and recent escalation in Gaza
-increased pressure on NGOS, journalists and others affiliated with US projects
-disruption of civil society meetings
Furthermore in the notice, the US Embassy has recommended its citizens in Sri Lanka to avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution if they happen to be in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests or demonstrations.
Listing out additional measures that can be implemented to ensure safety, they have requested the US expats to check for possible updates, enrolled with the US embassy through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) that offers latest security updates and makes it easier for the US embassy to contact them in an emergency as well as to monitor media coverage of local events and remain aware of their surroundings at all times.
It has also warned travelers to review their personal security plans and follow the instructions of local authorities when traveling in Sri Lanka.