Aug 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka said today that it will challenge the recent travel advisory issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warning the Britons over an upsurge of nationalism, sexual offences and anti-western rhetoric in the country.
Secretary of External Affairs Ministry Karunathilaka Amunugama has said that the government will take up the matter with the British authorities to ascertain how they came to the conclusion to amend the travel advisory.
"Travellers should note that the end of the military conflict in May 2009 has seen an upsurge of nationalism in Sri Lanka. As a result, anti-Western (particularly anti-British) rhetoric has increased," the latest advisory issued by the FCO said.
The travel advisory cautioned the Brits to make arrangements through reputable travel companies and exercise appropriate caution when travelling around Sri Lanka.
"Women should take particular care when travelling alone, or in small groups, and carry personal alarms," the advisory said warning the female travelers specifically.
However, the travel advisory says that violent crimes against foreigners are relatively infrequent.
The Secretary of the External Affairs Ministry has said the warnings are treated with 'utmost seriousness' due to the tone and timing and will seek changes to the advisory.
He said Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in London Chris Nonis had also been instructed to discuss the issue with British authorities.
Last year Khuram Shaikh Zaman, 32, a British tourist from Manchester was killed in a brawl during a Christmas Eve party at a tourist hotel in Rekawa, Tangalle.
Sri Lanka tourism officials strongly reacted to the murder urging the government to promptly arrest the culprits and provide better security measures to ensure the safety of tourists.
The main suspect, the ruling party Chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha is now in remand custody for the killing.
Visitors from the UK is the second single largest source of tourists to Sri Lanka.