Harvard University

Sri Lanka

Risk Ratings  

    HIGH MEDICAL RISK for Sri Lanka
    MEDIUM TRAVEL RISK for Sri Lanka

Risk Summary

Travel to Sri Lanka can continue with stringent precautions and comprehensive journey management planning. The level of terror threat has noticeably increased in view of and following the Easter bombings of April 2019. Although the authorities have increased its security posture and conducted counter-terrorism operations after the blasts, the attacks revealed a previously underestimated threat from Islamist militancy in the country and there remains a credible potential of further attacks.

Tensions between Sinhalese Buddhists, Tamil Hindus and Tamil Muslims occasionally result in incidents of violent unrest. Buddhist nationalist groups have engaged in acts of low-level vandalism and arson targeting Muslim-owned businesses and places of worship. Protests over local economic and political issues occur on a regular basis, and can be particularly frequent during periods of political tension such as the elections. Such protests can lead to clashes with the security forces. Petty crime continues to be the principal hazard for foreigners.

Members intending to travel to Northern and Eastern provinces should also be aware that decades of conflict have resulted in a widespread presence of unexploded ordnance, particularly in Northern province. While both the government and several international NGOs have made significant progress in removing landmines and other unexploded ordnance, their continuing presence poses a risk to travel to northern Sri Lanka. Furthermore, while the separatist guerrilla Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, 1983 -2009) has effectively disbanded, violence motivated by unresolved ethnic grievances such as small-scale bombings and shootings may become an issue in the long term. Such incidents are more likely to occur in the Northern and Eastern provinces than in the rest of the country, and any attacks would primarily target security force personnel and infrastructure in the area.

Enhanced personal safety measures should still be taken if travelling to Northern and Eastern provinces. Measures to take include: obtaining close support from a local guide or host, careful journey management planning with communication protocols, thorough research into the locations to be visited, and maintaining an awareness of the residual risks posed by the historic conflict between the security forces and the LTTE.

This information is intended as a summary of the travel security environment; however, the risks can change at short notice during a crisis or an evolving situation. Please check our travel security alerts to ensure you are informed of the most recent developments.


Vaccinations For Sri Lanka
Hepatitis ARecommended for all travellers and expatriates,
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Hepatitis BRecommended for all travellers and expatriates.
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Japanese encephalitisVaccine is recommended for people who will
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PolioVaccination is required for entry into Sri Lanka
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RabiesConsider for certain travellers, especially: For
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Typhoid feverRecommended for all travellers and expatriates.
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Yellow feverA yellow fever vaccination certificate is
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Routine Vaccinations

Disclaimer  Privacy

Travel security advice provided in this report represents the best judgment of AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Control Risks Group Holdings Ltd. Medical and health advice provided in this report represents the best judgment of AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. Advice in this report does not however provide a warranty of future results nor a guarantee against risk.

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