Gulf countries caution citizens against travelling to Sri Lanka

Gulf countries called on their citizens to postpone travel to Sri Lanka due to the nationwide curfew following violent protests and political turmoil.

In addition, called on citizens residing in Sri Lanka to stay away from the sites of protests. The countries of Oman, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia issued advisories following reports of escalating conditions in Sri Lanka.

Qatar

In a statement, the Qatar Embassy in Colombo called on its citizens in Sri Lanka to “take caution and stay away from gathering at places, given the current situation in the country.”

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Kuwait

The Kuwaiti embassy also called on citizens who plan on travelling to Sri Lanka to “postpone their travel in view of the Sri Lankan government’s declaration of a state of emergency and a curfew across the country due to protests and the instability of the security situation.” 

The embassy called on Kuwaiti citizens in Sri Lanka to “be careful and stay away from the areas and places of protests, and the need to contact the mission’s phone for emergencies.”

Saudi Arabia

As for the Riyadh embassy in Colombo, it called on its citizens residing in Sri Lanka to take precautions and stay away from places of gatherings, “due to the protests and demonstrations, the declaration of a state of emergency and a curfew in the capital, Colombo.”

The embassy called on Saudis wishing to travel to Sri Lanka to “postpone their travel for the time being.”

Oman

The Oman embassy in Sri Lanka called on its citizens to take caution and stay away from gathering at places, given the current situation in the country, and in case of need for assistance, contact the following numbers: +94112301278.

UAE

The UAE Embassy in Colombo has called on citizens of the country to take precautions and stay away from the demonstration areas.

The embassy also called, through its account on “Twitter”, citizens to register for my presence service and to communicate with the country’s mission in emergency cases on the following number: 0097180024.

Violence continued in Sri Lanka, despite the resignation of its Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, after his supporters stormed a sit-in square for protesters in front of the president’s office in the capital, Colombo, on Monday, May 9.

The protests erupted 6 weeks ago due to the lack of fuel and basic materials in the country and the rise in prices, and the economic crisis caused a severe political crisis.

The protesters are demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (brother of the prime minister), and political, administrative and economic reforms, including the abolition of a constitutional amendment that grants the president broad powers.

On Friday, May 6, President Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency for the second time in five weeks, and granted wide powers to the security forces, including allowing them to arrest suspects and detain them for long periods without judicial supervision, and authorized the deployment of soldiers to maintain order and support the police.

Sri Lanka also announced on April 12 that it had defaulted on its $51 billion foreign debt, and started talks with the International Monetary Fund to help it.

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