Search

 

Cablegate: Travel Warning - Sri Lanka

VZCZCXRO2722
OO RUEHAG RUEHAO RUEHAP RUEHAT RUEHBC RUEHBI RUEHBL RUEHBZ RUEHCD
RUEHCHI RUEHCI RUEHCN RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHDT RUEHDU RUEHED RUEHEL
RUEHFK RUEHFL RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHGH RUEHGI RUEHGR RUEHHA RUEHHM RUEHHO
RUEHHT RUEHIHL RUEHIK RUEHJO RUEHJS RUEHKN RUEHKR RUEHKSO RUEHKUK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHMC RUEHMJ RUEHMR RUEHMRE
RUEHMT RUEHNAG RUEHNEH RUEHNG RUEHNH RUEHNL RUEHNP RUEHNZ RUEHPA
RUEHPB RUEHPD RUEHPOD RUEHPT RUEHPW RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRN
RUEHROV RUEHRS RUEHSK RUEHTM RUEHTRO RUEHVC RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHC #3550/01 3571909
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221901Z DEC 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 4800
RUEHFSI/DIR FSINFATC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE 2341
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA IMMEDIATE 7215
RUCPDOC/ALL USDOC DISTDIR COLLECTIVE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMCSUU/CDRAMC FT BELVOIR VA//AMCMI-SS// IMMEDIATE
RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC//XOXXI// IMMEDIATE
RHMCSUU/HQ AFOSI DOQ ANDREWS AFB MD//IVOA// IMMEDIATE
RHMCSUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC//ACI-400// IMMEDIATE
RHMCSUU/COMNAVAIRSYSCOM PATUXENT RIVER MD//AIR1031B// IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/NRC WASHINGTON DC//INFOSEC// IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ2-JIT// IMMEDIATE
RUCPCIM/CIM NTDB WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMCSUU/COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL IMMEDIATE
INFO RUESBKC/ATO ASIA IMMEDIATE 1786

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 133550

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC PTER ASEC CE
SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING - SRI LANKA

1. The Department of State warns American citizens
traveling to or living in Sri Lanka about the continuing
danger of terrorist attacks throughout the country. This
replaces the Travel Warning for Sri Lanka dated June 13,
2008 and highlights changes in locations of security
concerns, and notes recent terrorist attacks.

2. The Department of State urges American citizens to
evaluate carefully the risks of travel to Sri Lanka and
specifically warns Americans against travel to the
Northern Province and most of the Eastern Province of Sri
Lanka. All of the Northern Province remains dangerous.
In Anuradhapura District of the North Central Province,
the areas north of Medawachchiya, the A14 road, and the
road from Medawachchiya and Horowupatna are dangerous.
Non-official travel by U.S. Government personnel to the
Eastern Province, other than the A6 road corridor and
Trincomalee Town in Trincomalee District, and areas in
Ampara District south of the A4 road and west of Maha
Oya, is prohibited.

3. Since early January 2008, fighting between the Sri
Lankan military, paramilitary groups and the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has increased, and bomb
explosions in densely populated areas have killed dozens
of civilians, including in some areas frequented by
foreign tourists. Although there is no specific
indication that American citizens or institutions have
been targeted, there is a heightened risk of American
citizens becoming victims of violence just by being in
the wrong place at the wrong time. American citizens
who decide to travel to Sri Lanka despite this Travel
Warning should be aware of their personal surroundings
and follow prudent security practices. Americans should
avoid large crowds and public gatherings and should
particularly avoid political rallies, military bases, and
government and military vehicle convoys, which are
frequent targets of LTTE attacks. Americans are also
strongly advised against using public transportation in
Sri Lanka, as civilian buses and trains have increasingly
been the targets of terrorist bomb attacks in recent
months. U.S. Government personnel are currently
prohibited from using these modes of transportation.

4. Recent incidents include an October 28, 2008 LTTE
aircraft attack that damaged the main power plant in
Colombo, and a suicide bombing on October 6, 2008 that
killed 28 civilians and injured 80 at the opening of a
political party office in Anuradhapura.

5. On June 6, 2008, 22 civilians were killed and 70
injured by an anti-personnel mine aimed at a passenger
bus in Colombo. The same day, two people were killed by
another anti-personnel mine detonated in a passenger bus
in Kandy. On May 31, 2008, a grenade attack on a bus
stop in Wellawatta killed two people and wounded 10. On
May 26, nine civilians were killed and 84 injured in a
train bombing in Dehiwala. On February 3, 2008, 14
civilians were killed and approximately 100 were injured
when a suicide attacker detonated an explosive device
inside the main railway station in Colombo. The same
day, seven were injured when a grenade was detonated at
the Dehiwala Zoo in Colombo. On February 2, 2008, a bomb
on a bus from Kandy, headed for Anuradhapura, exploded in
Dambulla and killed 18 civilians and injured over 50.

6. Americans are also advised to avoid government
buildings, military installations, and government vehicle
convoys. On January 8, 2008, a government minister was
killed and several persons were injured when his vehicle
was attacked on the road between Colombo's international

STATE 00133550 002 OF 002


airport and central Colombo. In 2007, the LTTE also
attacked an Army camp in Yala National Sanctuary, and the
Katunayake Air Force Base in Colombo was attacked by LTTE
aircraft, causing brief suspension of operations at the
adjacent Bandaranaike International Airport. Foreign
tourists were not specifically targeted in these attacks
and none were injured.

7. While the government has effectively controlled the
eastern part of the country since July 2007, security in
much of the Eastern Province is not yet assured. Some
LTTE members and larger numbers of armed paramilitary
members are active in the area, leading to instability
and incidents of violence. This situation is likely to
continue for some time. Americans are particularly
warned against travel to LTTE-controlled areas in the
north, which may pose severe hazards.

8. Americans should comply with all instructions from
security forces and police when traveling in Sri Lanka.
American citizens, including those of Sri Lankan origin,
whether living in Sri Lanka or traveling there even for
only a few days, are strongly urged to register with the
Embassy. Registration will allow the embassy to provide
direct information on the security situation as
necessary. Registration is done on-line and can be done
in advance of travel at
https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/. Information
on registering can also be found at the Embassy website:
http://srilanka.usembassy.gov or at the Department of
State's Consular Affairs website:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/registrat ion/registra
tion_1186.html.

9. The U.S. Embassy is located at 210 Galle Road, Colombo
3, Sri Lanka. The Embassy's telephone number during
normal business hours Monday through Friday is (94) (11)
249 8500. The after-hours emergency telephone number is
(94) (11) 249 8888. The Consular Section fax number is
(94) (11)-249 8590. The Embassy's web site is
http://srilanka.usembassy.gov/. The Consular Section has
a specific email address dedicated to American Citizens
Services at ColomboACS@state.gov. The general email
address for the consular section is
consularcolombo@state.gov. The Embassy in Colombo also
covers the Republic of Maldives.

10. As the Department continues to develop information on
any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas,
it shares credible threat information through its
consular information documents, including the Worldwide
Caution, available on the Internet at
http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on
the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information
on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-
free in the U.S. and Canada or, outside the U.S. and
Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These
numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern
Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal
holidays).
RICE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC