Indian Passport now Synonymous with Free On-Arrival Visa in Sri-Lanka


“Malinga takes a three-wicket haul to help the team win its first ODI against Bangaldesh.” If that’s the only news you have heard in the day, then it’s about time you either change your interest preferences or your information sources.

Sri Lanka, one destination-several explorations. The country that you only could dream of in your dreams, one that was only a far-fetched over-priced and out of bound ideal, has now become an affordable reality. Now there is no single worry of saving a single rupee for your daughter’s dowry or your son’s luxury, for you can be selfish in the moment and shed it all on yourself. Yes, you heard it right, Sri Lanka will soon offer free on-arrival visa to the Indian Passport holders starting 1st August. This is a service for which Indians earlier had to pay about Rs.2400 when the landed on the country. This news was announced very recently by the Tourism Ministry of Sri Lanka. Along with India, Sri Lanka in total have added 10 additional countries that were previously excluded from the list of 39 countries that were provided free visas. The countries now included are China, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Philippines, Finland, Russia, England and of course India.

The idea in its undertone reflects an appeal and an effort to increase the off-season tourism in the country primarily during the months from May to October. After some terrorist attacks in Colombo, not many people wished to see the Lanka and its old mysteries, and thus this new scheme was brought about to boost tourism once again. As far as India is concerned, it is one of the largest contributors and consumer of the tourism market in Sri Lanka, with over 18% of the arrivals taking place from the country. Ironically it was not included earlier in the original free visa on arrival country list.

This is an appeal to all the rich yet miser country folk to pack up their bags, call in for a sick leave and spend some days in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, hoping that terrorism climate would be lower than Kashmir, while the real climate stays a bit higher than Kashmir. Sri Lanka does have some decent wonders to look at apart from Lasith Malinga. There are the beaches, the parks, the ancient ruins (bearing the cruel relativity of time). There are temples, roads, local cultures-cuisines-countrymen & women. The currency is also 39% of a single rupee, which may or may not be a fruitful fact depending on the cost of living. Nevertheless, it won’t hurt spending a few bucks on flight tickets and visiting a nearby neighbour who makes an effort to invite you by way of lowering down its visitation fee.