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Modi visit is proof that island nation is safe: Sri Lanka tourism minister

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By Sahil Pandey

New Delhi | June 26, 2019 8:11:19 AM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Sri Lanka is proof that the country is safe, said Sri Lankan Tourism Minister John Amaratunga.

"Prime Minister Modi came to Sri Lanka and it is the proof that Sri Lanka is safe. He visited churches there. He was cordial and comfortable and what is a better proof of safety than that," Amaratunga told ANI.

Modi paid a stopover visit to the island nation earlier this month on his way back to India from the Maldives.

Amaratunga's statement came after over two months of deadly Easter Sunday attack which targeted eight locations, including three churches, killing more than 250 people.

Talking about the impact of the terror attack which took place on April 21 in Sri Lanka, he said, "Sri Lanka is the same as was before the blast. However, our intelligence was quick enough within 10 days to apprehend who supported ISIS criminals who destroyed churches and hotel in Sri Lanka."

Negating the impact of ongoing emergency in Sri Lanka, the minister said the reason the total removal of travel advisory by countries is because of an emergency.

"Emergency has no danger to tourism. We needed to investigate the people behind the attacks. In 2-3 days emergency will be removed. The movement in the city is normal as it was before 21 April," he added.

The Minister also discussed tourism incentives for Indians by releasing a package including tickets and hotels at a heavy discount rate of almost 50-60 per cent.

Amartunga assured that Sri Lanka is safe and secure. He stated that 4500 Indians in 2018 amounted to 19 to 20 per cent of the arrivals to the country and said India is number 1 in terms of tourist arrivals.

Expressing optimism he said, "I see tourism is bouncing back. Indians, Chinese and Europe have come." (ANI)

 
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