The Government has today, 1 June 2016, issued a circular ending the restrictions placed in March 2011 on the issuance of passports to Sri Lankan citizens resident abroad who, at different times, were compelled to leave Sri Lanka due to conflict or political reasons.

In March 2011, instructions had been issued to all Sri Lanka Missions abroad to refrain from issuing passports to those who had applied and gained refugee status or asylum in another country unless they have renounced their refugee and/or asylum status. These instructions constituted a violation of citizen’s rights and resulted in hardship and difficulty to many Sri Lankans who were forced to leave the country for political reasons and denied a Sri Lankan travel document.