US Embassy to close early due to Muslim protest

US Embassy to close early due to Muslim protest

September 24, 2012   07:12 am

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The United States Embassy in Colombo will close to the public early today in anticipation of protests in Colombo by Muslims against the anti-Islam movie. The Embassy has notified U.S. citizens visiting Sri Lanka that it will be closed at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, September 24, due to planned demonstrations in the city.

 

The Embassy has said that it received reports of a planned substantial protest in the immediate vicinity of the Embassy beginning at approximately 10:30 a.m., September 24.

 

U.S. citizens have therefore been urged to avoid traveling to the Embassy when there is an ongoing demonstration and to exercise caution if in the vicinity of demonstrations.

 

“While no protest-related violence has been directed at foreigners, we remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn violent. U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds and monitor media coverage of local events. If you encounter demonstrations, or large crowds, you should remain calm and depart the area quickly and avoid confrontation,” the notification said.

 

It also warned that additional protests may take place in the next week and asked the U. S. citizens to check the U.S. Embassy Colombo website for possible updates, closely monitor local media for reports of protests, and remain aware of their surroundings at all times.

 

Thousands of Sri Lankan Muslims last week staged protests against the anti-Islam film produced in the U.S. and Sri Lankan authorities closed the main Galle Road in Colombo, along which the Embassy is located.

 

Message from the Embassy;

 

 

Security Message for U.S. Citizens in Sri Lanka – U.S. Embassy Colombo Closing Early on 24 September, 2012

 

September 23, 2012

 

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka will reduce operations and close to the public at 9:30 a.m. Monday, September 24, due to planned demonstrations in the city.  The Embassy has received reports of a planned substantial protest in the immediate vicinity of the Embassy beginning at approximately 10:30 a.m., September 24.  U.S. citizens are therefore urged to avoid traveling to the Embassy when there is an ongoing demonstration and to exercise caution if in the vicinity of demonstrations. 

 

While no protest-related violence has been directed at foreigners, we remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn violent.  U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds and monitor media coverage of local events.  If you encounter demonstrations, or large crowds, you should remain calm and depart the area quickly and avoid confrontation.  Note that additional protests may take place in the next week. Check the U.S. Embassy Colombo website <http://srilanka.usembassy.gov/> for possible updates, closely monitor local media for reports of protests, and remain aware of your surroundings at all times.

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