Sri Lanka on Wednesday refuted misgivings resulting from an alleged assessment by the US embassy here of the threat of terrorism in the country after it updated its travel advisory, warning Americans against travelling to the island nation.
The Sri Lankan ministry of defence said that according to its own assessment, there has been no information on any threat of terrorism or related activities in the country.
The US embassy’s travel advisory, based on a tier 4 categorisation of the level of security in Sri Lanka, had warned its citizens against travelling to Sri Lanka.
The US embassy in a tweet on Tuesday said that the State Department had updated the travel advisory for Sri Lanka from Level 3 (reconsider travel) to Level 4 (do not travel) solely due to prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country.
“There is no change to the terrorist threat level,” it said.
The US has four levels of travel advisories.
Level 1 means to exercise normal precaution, Level 2 is to exercise increased caution, Level 3 is to reconsider travel and Level 4 advises Americans not to travel at all.
The US sources said the travel advisory on Sri Lanka remains same since April 2019 in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks which killed over 270 people.
After the attacks, the US State Department raised the travel risk to Sri Lanka to Level 3 in a travel advisory.
“Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka.
Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, hospitals, and other public areas,” the State Department had said.
The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Sri Lanka due to the security environment, it had said.
According to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker, Sri Lanka has reported 169,900 COVID-19 cases and 1,269 deaths.