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U.S. CITIZEN MESSAGES
 

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens in Sri Lanka:  Demonstration against the U.S. Government

August 8, 2014

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka has received reports of a planned anti-U.S. Government protest that is to reach the U.S. Embassy area at approximately 10 am this morning. The protesters are expected to gather near the Town Hall, Colombo 7 and march through Dharmapala Mawatha and St. Michael’s Road to the U.S. Embassy. The U.S. Embassy will not allow access for any individual during the time period that the protesters are immediately outside the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy advises American citizens to avoid coming to the Embassy this morning.

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  The U.S. Embassy recommends that American citizens avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.  Travelers should check the U.S. Embassy Colombo website for possible updates, monitor media coverage of local events and remain aware of their surroundings at all times.  We also suggest that travelers review their personal security plans and follow the instructions of local authorities.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens living or traveling in Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives are encouraged to enroll with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).   STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy to contact you in an emergency.  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll at the Embassy.  U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found.  The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review "A Safe Trip Abroad,” which includes valuable security information for those living and traveling abroad.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App, available through iTunes or Google Play to have travel information at your fingertips.

In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain the latest information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States 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).

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo is located at 210 Galle Road.  The telephone number is +94 11 249-8500.  If you are an American citizen with an afterhours emergency, please call our hotline at:  077-725-6307.  If you are unable to reach the duty officer on this number, please dial 011-249-8888.  The fax number is +94 11 249-8501.  The Consulate's e-mail address is colomboacs@state.gov and its internet web page is http://srilanka.usembassy.gov/.

 

Security Message for U.S. Citizens in Sri Lanka: Increasing Anti-Western Sentiment in Sri Lanka

Date: August 8, 2014

Since early 2014, there has been an increase in protests in Sri Lanka, including those that have turned violent.  Anti-western demonstrations against the U.S. and the United Nations and the recent escalation in Gaza are also on the rise.  In addition, there is increased pressure on non-government organizations, journalists and others affiliated with U.S. projects, and civil society meetings have been disrupted.

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  The U.S. Embassy recommends that American citizens avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.  Travelers should check the U.S. Embassy Colombo website for possible updates, monitor media coverage of local events and remain aware of their surroundings at all times.  We also suggest that travelers review their personal security plans and follow the instructions of local authorities.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens living or traveling in Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives enroll with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).   STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy to contact you in an emergency.  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll at the Embassy.  U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide CautionTravel WarningsTravel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found.  The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review "A Safe Trip Abroad,” which includes valuable security information for those living and traveling abroad.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App, available through iTunes or Google Play to have travel information at your fingertips.

In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain the latest information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States 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).

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo is located at 210 Galle Road.  The telephone number is +94 11 249-8500.  If you are an American citizen with an afterhours emergency, please call our hotline at:  077-725-6307.  If you are unable to reach the duty officer on this number, please dial 011-249-8888.  The fax number is +94 11 249-8501.  The Consulate's e-mail address iscolomboacs@state.gov and its internet web page is http://srilanka.usembassy.gov/.

 

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Protests in Malé - July 31, 2014

On July 28, Maldivian police evacuated a group of foreign tourists, including several Israeli citizens, from Kaafu Thulusdhoo Island following a confrontation  with local protesters.  On July 15, approximately 13,000 Maldivians marched in the capital, Malé, against the Israeli offensive in Gaza.  There have been no reported incidents at the major tourist resorts nor at the Malé International Airport.   

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo advises U.S. citizens living or traveling in the Maldives to exercise caution when traveling outside the resorts, particularly during protests and disturbances.  Travelers should avoid demonstrations and spontaneous gatherings  and should not engage in political activity in the Maldives.  Those who encounter demonstrations or large crowds should steer clear of confrontation, remain calm, and depart the area quickly.  While in the Maldives, travelers should refer to news sources, check the U.S. Embassy Colombo website for possible security updates, and remain aware of their surroundings at all times.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens living or traveling in Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives enroll with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).   STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy to contact you in an emergency.  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll at the Embassy.  U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. 

In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain the latest information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States 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).

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo is located at 210 Galle Road.  The telephone number is +94 11 249-8500.  If you are an American citizen with an afterhours emergency, please call our hotline at:  077-725-6307.  If you are unable to reach the duty officer on this number, please dial 011-249-8500.  The fax number is +94 11 249-8501.  The Consular Section’s e-mail address is colomboacs@state.gov and its internet web page is http://srilanka.usembassy.gov/.