Colombo: Sri Lankan government on Sunday said
it will continue with the Visa-on-Arrival policy despite its
decision to implement the new online-visa system for visitors.
Deputy Economic Development Minister Lakshman Yapa
Abeywardena said that both the Visa-on-Arrival and proposed
online system will operate until the new system is fully
operational and depending on the feedback from visitors.
"We have decided to continue with the on arrival
system while having the online system. This would not cause
any hardships to the tourists who want to visit Sri Lanka,"
"The on arrival system would not be abolished. We will
scrap it only depending on the success of the online system,"
the minister said.
The online system, which would soon be introduced,
would be scrutinized over a period of time to make evaluation
in order to make further reviews if required, he said.
Last year, the government said only the passport
holders from Maldives and Singapore would be given on arrival
visas which would be a reciprocation as the two nations are
the only ones to provide Sri Lankans with on arrival visas.
Sri Lanka issues on arrival 30 days visas to bona fide
tourists to the island. The authorities say the system was
subject to abuse by individuals who have found employment
having entered the island as a tourist.
The implementation of the online system is yet to get
underway despite a cabinet decision last month.