Just weeks before the Australian cricket team arrives in Sri Lanka, the federal government has warned Aussies to reconsider travelling to the country following “several violent incidents”.
But a spokesperson told News Corp that Cricket Australia’s plans had not yet been affected, despite violent protests occurring less than an hour from the city where the tour will begin.
Economic decline in Sri Lanka has led protesters to clash with government supporters for weeks, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The situation escalated this week despite the Prime Minister’s resignation and following two nights of arson attacks near the capital city Colombo, Australia updated its travel advice for those wishing to visit.
The Australian government is warning tourists to be especially wary of large groups and says demonstrations may limit access to food, medicine and other essential items.
“Several violent incidents have taken place during large demonstrations,” a government statement reads.
“Avoid demonstrations and events that draw large groups. Follow the advice of local authorities and monitor the media for updates.
“A Public Emergency has been declared in Sri Lanka and an island wide curfew imposed. Carry relevant travel and identification documents with you at all times.
“Public demonstrations continue to occur throughout Sri Lanka. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transport. You may experience disruption to fuel supply and planned, lengthy power outages. Import delays may impact your ability to access some medicines and food items.”
Cricket Australia’s plans remain unaffected as at Wednesday evening.
On June 7, the Aussie T20 side is due to play its first match in Colombo, roughly 40km from Negombo, where eight people were reported to have been killed in this week’s protests.
Of the 14 matches scheduled across all formats, seven are set to be played in Colombo.
As it stands, Australia will remain in Sri Lanka until mid-July, when the multi-format series wraps up with the second Test in Galle.
Australian players repeatedly assured the press they felt safe on their recent tour of Pakistan and said the team was subject to strict security conditions throughout its stay.
Security concerns had kept Australia from visiting Pakistan since 1998.