Sri Lanka has launched free visas for travellers from India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia for five months. The announcement was made by Ali Sabry, the country's foreign affairs minister on Tuesday. The visa-free travel facility has begun with immediate effect and will continue till March 31, next year. As per reports, the purpose is to attract more tourists to the country. The minister posted on his X page that this is passed as a pilot project till March 31.
The country, which depends heavily on tourism, is reeling under the effects of back-to-back tragedies due to COVID-19 and poor implementation of agricultural reforms. Last week, the Ministry of Tourism announced that a Cabinet Paper had been presented during the previous Cabinet meeting, proposing the idea of free tourist visas to visit the country.