Officials from Sri Lanka have opened new land border checkpoints to allow foreign travellers to enter and exit the country.
The opening of the border crossing at Kandy, in the western part of the country, will allow tourists and traders more options and easing of travel, said Mohipala Ruwan Silva, deputy minister of the Ministry of Higher Education.
At present, most international travelers are visiting one of the four international airports in the country to fly in and out. Newroads Enterprises, the express border crossing with India, has been closed since June last year.
The opening of the Kandy border comes amid reports that the Sri Lankan government plans to amend the 2002 ceasefire agreement between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the country’s largest separatist group.
Sri Lanka’s peace process has largely been successful as the country has been able to avoid state-sponsored violence and work out the thorny issue of how to handle the Tamil people.
The ceasefire agreement is thought to have been negotiated by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan in 2002.
However, an anti-submission (Operation Protector) which saw more than 13,000 Tamil rebels killed, has served to further distance the Tamils from the government.
Since 2015, the Tamils have been boycotting the ballot, prompting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to call early elections.