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Saudi Arabia Withdraws Security Advisory For Sri Lanka

altSaudi Arabia has cancelled its ban on citizens traveling to Sri Lanka following the defeat of the island’s     Tamil Tiger rebels last year.   The travel ban was issued in 2008 when fighting between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels reached new and more dangerous levels.  Riyad Al-Kheneini, deputy chief of mission at the Saudi embassy in Colombo, said “We withdrew the travel advisory as the security situation in Sri Lanka has improved a great deal.”  

The ban was removed after a meeting between the Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, and Sri Lankan ambassador Ahmed A. Jawad. The Tamil Tigers, which began an armed struggle in 1983 to create an independent Tamil homeland, is banned as a terrorist organization in the European Union.   Sri Lanka has been increasing its efforts to promote itself as a short-haul destination since the Tigers were defeated last year.  About 5,400 Saudi tourists visited Sri Lanka in the second half of 2009.


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