Embassy/Consulate Addresses | Foreign Relations | Travel Advisories | Travel Tips | Customs/Duties


Diplomatic Representation in US:
Ambassador: Jaliya Wickramasuriya
Embassy: 2148 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 483-4025 through 4028
FAX: [1] (202) 232-7181

Consulate(s) are in:

New York
630 3rd Av., 20th Floor,
New York, NY 10017.
Tel: (212) 986-7040
Fax: (212) 986-1838

Los Angeles
5371 Wilshire Bl., Suite 201,
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: (323) 634-0479
Fax: (323) 634-1095

US Diplomatic Representation:
Ambassador: Patricia A. Butenis
Embassy: 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3
Mailing address: P. O. Box 106, Colombo
Telephone: 94-11-249-8500
FAX: 94-11-243-7345

Embassy and Consulate Web Sites for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington DC
U.S Embassy Web Site in Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka traditionally follows a nonaligned foreign policy but has been seeking closer relations with the United States since December 2001. It participates in multilateral diplomacy, particularly at the United Nations, where it seeks to promote sovereignty, independence, and development in the developing world. Sri Lanka was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). It also is a member of the Commonwealth, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank, and the Colombo Plan. Sri Lanka continues its active participation in the NAM, while also stressing the importance it places on regionalism by playing a strong role in SAARC.

The United States enjoys cordial relations with Sri Lanka that are based, in large part, on shared democratic traditions. U.S. policy toward Sri Lanka is characterized by respect for its independence, sovereignty, and moderate nonaligned foreign policy; support for the country's unity, territorial integrity, and democratic institutions; and encouragement of its social and economic development. The United States is a strong supporter of ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

U.S. assistance has totaled more than $2 billion since Sri Lanka's independence in 1948. Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), it has contributed to Sri Lanka's economic growth with projects designed to reduce unemployment, improve housing, develop the Colombo Stock Exchange, modernize the judicial system, and improve competitiveness. At the June 2003 Tokyo Donors' Conference on Sri Lanka, the United States pledged $54 million, including $40.4 million of USAID funding. Following the 2004 tsunami, the United States provided $135 million in relief and reconstruction assistance. The United States provided over $51.4 million in humanitarian assistance in 2009, and pledged at least $34.5 million for 2010.

In addition, the International Broadcast Bureau (IBB)--formerly Voice of America (VOA)--operates a radio-transmitting station in Sri Lanka. The U.S. Armed Forces maintain a limited military-to-military relationship with the Sri Lanka defense establishment.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Patricia A. Butenis
Deputy Chief of Mission--Valerie Crites Fowler
Head of Political Section--Paul M. Carter, Jr.
Head of Economic/Commercial Section--Edward Heartney
Management Officer--Kevin A. Weishar
Consular Officer--William Dowers

The U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka is located at 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3 (tel: 94-11-249-8500, fax: 94-11-243-7345). U.S. Agency for International Development offices are located at the American Center, 44 Galle Road, Colombo 3 (tel: 94-11-249-8000; fax: 94-11-247-2850/247-2860). Public Affairs offices also are located at the American Center (tel: 94-11-249-8100, fax: 94-11-244-9070).


To obtain the latest Travel Advisory Information for Sri Lanka check the U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheet.


Driving TBA
Currency (LKR) Sri Lankan Rupee
Electrical 230 Volts
Telephones Country Code 94, City Code, Colombo 11+6/7D, Jaffna 21+7D, Negombo 31+7D, Matara 41+7D

Time: GMT + 6.

Electricity: 230/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are usual, with bayonet lamp fittings.

Telephone: IDD facilities are available to the principal cities. Country code: 94. Outgoing international code: 00. Phone cards are available at post offices and shops.

Climate: Tropical climate. Upland areas are cooler and more temperate, and coastal areas are cooled by sea breezes. There are two monsoons, which occur May to July and December to January.

Clothing: Lightweights and rainwear.

Food & Drink: Standard foods are spicy and it is advised to approach curries with caution. There are many vegetables, fruits, meats and seafoods. Continental, Chinese, Indian and Japanese menus are available in Colombo. A speciality is basic curry, made with coconut milk, sliced onion, green chilli, aromatic spices such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron and aromatic leaves. Hoppers is a cross between a muffin and a crumpet with a wafer-crisp edge, served with a fresh egg soft-baked on top. Stringhoppers are steamed circlets of rice flour, a little more delicate than noodles or spaghetti. Jaggery is a fudge made from the crystallised sap of the kitul palm. The durian fruit is considered a great delicacy. Tea is the national drink and thought to be amongst the best in the world. Toddy, the sap of the palm tree, is a popular local drink; fermented, it becomes arrack which, it should be noted, comes in varying degrees of strength. Alcohol cannot be sold on poya holidays (which occur each lunar month on the day of the full moon).

Shopping: Special purchases include handicrafts and curios of silver, brass, bone, ceramics, wood and terracotta. Also cane baskets, straw hats, reed and coir mats and tea. Batik fabric, lace and lacquerware are also popular. Some of the masks, which are used in dance-dramas, in processions and on festival days, can be bought by tourists. The ‘18-disease’ mask shows a demon in possession of a victim; he is surrounded by 18 faces – each of which cures a specific ailment. Versions produced for the tourist market are often of a high standard. Sri Lanka is also rich in gems. Fabrics include batiks, cottons, rayons, silks and fine lace. Shopping hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1730, Sat 0900-1300.

Tipping: Most hotels include a service charge of ten per cent. Extra tipping is optional.

Currency: Sri Lanka Rupee (SLRe, singular; SLRs, plural) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of SLRs1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of SLRs10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. There are also large numbers of commemorative coins in circulation.

Credit & debit cards: American Express, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted. Diners Club has more limited acceptance. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques:
The rate of exchange for travellers cheques is better than the rate of exchange for cash. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.


Liquor..............2 litres of wine; 1.5 litres of spirits

Perfume..........Reasonable for personal use

Cameras.........1 still/1 movie camera

Film................Reasonable for personal use

Gifts................No duty free allowance

Currency.........No import sri lanka/india/pakistan rupees

Note: only two members of a family are entitled to free import allowances. Precious metals, including gold, platinum and silver (including jewellery), must be declared on arrival in sri lanka.

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