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US lifts travel warning on Sri Lanka

May 27, 2010 3:58:07 AM - itnnews.lk

The U.S. State Department announced yesterday that it was lifting its travel advisory on Sri Lanka, citing the peaceful atmosphere that has taken hold a year after Sri Lanka’s defeat of terrorism.

The Travel Warning was issued for Sri Lanka on November 19, 2009. The State Department said it has been cancelled, effective from May 26th that is yesterday. The State Department’s decision occurred during a four-day Washington visit of Minister of External Affairs, Prof, G.L. Peiris. The Minister Peiris is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tomorrow.

Yesterday, the Minister met with Gen. James Jones, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, as well as with senior U.S. Department of Defense officials.

The State Department’s decision was hailed by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya.

In its statement, the State Department noted that, “The Government of Sri Lanka declared victory over the LTTE in May last year. Since the war’s declared end, the LTTE has not mounted any attacks in Colombo or elsewhere in Sri Lanka.”

In fact, tourism returned dramatically to Sri Lanka just days after the conflict ended, and it has continued to improve, nearly doubling in some months compared to last year, despite the State Department’s travel advisory.