Sri Lanka has a longstanding democratic tradition and therefore respects freedom of speech and expression. in keeping with this spirit, media persons are welcome to visit Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka will facilitate all visiting media personnel, as required, during their assignment in Sri Lanka.
Guidelines for media personnel visiting Sri Lanka:
a) All journalists/media personnel visiting Sri Lanka need to obtain a visa from the relevant Sri Lanka mission prior to their arrival in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Media accreditation will not be recommended for media personnel who obtain tourist visas on arrival at the airport. Tourist visas are intended only for tourism purposes.
b) A list of equipment carried by TV media should be sent to the Public Communications Division through the relevant Sri Lanka Mission in advance, to facilitate Customs clearance at the airport. The list should be accompanied by a letter of undertaking from the relevant media organizations that the equipment would be carried out of the country upon the departure of the media personnel.
c) All foreign media working in Sri Lanka are required to obtain media accreditation from the Government information Department, issued upon recommendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All visiting media personnel are threfore requested to contact the Public Communications Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs upon arrival in Colombo, regarding their media accreditation.
Filming Documentaries/Feature films
a) Filming of all other documentaries and feature films, other than tourism promotional films and wildlife related documentaries, require prior approval by the National Film Corporation (NFC).
b) Media teams are required to complete the NFC agreement, available with the Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra, and submit it along with the synopsis of the documentary, itinerary of the media team while in Sri Lanka, as well as locations of filming. At least one week is required to process these documents before the scheduled commencement of the project.
Tourism Promotional Documentaries
a) All media teams visiting Sri Lanka to film tourism promotional documentaries, or taking part in Sri Lanka Tourist board (SLTB) familiarization tours, are required to fill the “SLTB Selection Criteria for Journalists/TV crews for FAM tours” form which is available at the Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra.
b) The SLTB requires at least 30 working days for processing the relevant documents prior to the scheduled commencement of the project. Such media teams should also have a ground handling team who will be corrdinating the project in Sri Lanka.
Filming in Wildlife Protected Areas
Filming in Wildlife protected areas requires prior approval from the Department of Wildlife Conservation. The duly completed “Application for filming in wildlife protected areas”, available at the Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra, must be completed and handed over to the relevant Sri Lanka mission. Teh Department of Wildlife Conservation requires at least two weeks to process the relevant documents before the scheduled commencement of the project.