Law and Order – Things to Know When Visiting Sri Lanka

Law and Order - Things to know when visiting Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a wonderful nation, the country is beautiful and the people are a hospitable bunch. Here’s a heads up on the dos and don’ts in the country.

The legal system is not strict however the jumble of regulations and customs that feel like laws can confuse tourists. In general, the laws are lenient with tourists and even the police are more tolerant unless its serious crime of course.

What not to do when taking photographs

The majority of Sri Lankan’s follow Buddhism. There are local customs you need to adhere when entering a temple such as dressing conservatively, being barefoot, not touching Buddhist monks and being respectful towards other worshippers. While some of these will be tolerated, taking photographs with your back turned to Buddha statues or while holding them can get you into big trouble. For instance, a woman who was photographed pretending to kiss a Buddha statue was deported and three French tourists were arrested for disrespecting a Buddha statue.

Clicking pictures of government institutes are prohibited. This is a result of the 20-year civil war that ended a few years ago. But still, it is not accepted and can get you in trouble.

Work permits

You cannot work without a resident visa. You do not find part-time jobs that you can do while holidaying. If you intend to invest in a business you would need a local partner for it. ?If you plan to stay on a long-term basis you can find holiday rentals in Sri Lanka without a problem.


There have been major issues regarding people flaunting tattoos of Lord Buddha in the country. Tourists have been arrested for showing their tattoos with Buddha in the country so if you have one, keep it covered.

Religious freedom

Even though the majority follows Buddhism, you also find many Hindus, Muslims, and Christians in Sri Lanka. The country is quite liberal when it comes to accepting other religions.

Carrying illegal drugs

There are severe repercussions for being caught carrying illegal drugs. Most drugs are illegal in the country including marijuana.


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