Sri Lanka has successfully ended a three decades long war in 2009 and the country is now safe from terrorist attacks. There is no threat of bombs, grenades and suicide attacks anywhere in the country. Peace has been restored and the commercial hub Colombo is safe in a broad sense.
Safety in Colombo
Colombo is generally a safe city and one will not encounter major problems in broad day light. It is always cautious to have your belongings safe and keep them under lock and key and would be a best practice to, not divulge personal information to strangers. This is to avoid any risk of burglary.
Also it would be advisable to avoid frequenting slum areas as these places are frequented by drunken males who could run you into fights and leave a chance for pick pocketing. One needs to be cautious of wallets carried when in public transport as there could be rare chances of pick pocketing.
It would not be ideal for single female foreigners to travel in places like Pettah which is very crowded. One may be subjected to eve teasing. Major crimes such as murder and rape are not very common but one cannot rule out that it is absent. There have been a few events in the past where foreigners have been victims.
Night Life in Colombo thrives in the famous night clubs and casinos and is frequented by foreigners but a word of caution to not get into brawls as this might turn out to be dangerous. There are instances when unacceptable behaviour has been reported due to drug induce and alcoholism. There aren’t much locals roaming on the roads of Colombo and suburbs during late nights , unless male beggars and would be best to not walk alone in the pavements at night. If you are driving, try to stick to the main Galle road and major roads than to use by roads.
There are police posts in almost every town in Colombo and on dialling 119 you can avail emergency facilities where the police would come in for assistance. There is also a special tourist police station which operates in Colombo and foreigners could avail assistance.
Is Sri Lanka Safe to Live in?
All in all, Sri Lanka is not a place with heavy violent crimes and with a bit of precautions one can have a very pleasant and safe stay. Do not be surprised if you see political rallies on streets with large protests. It does not necessarily have to deter or scare any foreigners.
Drinking and driving is sometimes not very tightly regulated, thus you might bounce into drunk drivers at unexpected places. It would be easiest to hire a local driver through a reputed travel agency and you will have a safe trip. Possession of illegal drugs would pose death penalty and you should refrain from bringing any into the country.
It would be best for foreigners to live in residential areas as these are relatively safe with not much of problems. With some personal precautions, Sri Lanka would make an ideal and safe trip.
P.S. Need a place to stay when going to Sri Lanka?