The British Foreign Office has warned visitors to Sri Lanka to be mindful of organised and armed gangs known to operate in Sri Lanka who have been responsible for targeted kidnappings and violence. It also says women should take particular care when travelling alone or in small groups, and carry a personal alarm.“Organised and armed gangs are known to operate in Sri Lanka and have been responsible for targeted kidnappings and violence. While there is no evidence to suggest that British nationals are at particular risk, gangs have been known to operate in tourist areas. A British national was killed during a violent attack by a gang in a tourist resort in December 2011,” the travel advice said. Just this week the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka had been summoned by the External Affairs Ministry to seek a clarification on a travel note issued by the US State Department also in May to US citizens visiting Sri Lanka.The US State Department had, in the travel note, cautioned it’s citizens when visiting Sri Lanka of crimes targeting foreigners.As was first reported in the Colombo Gazette on Saturday, the travel information for US citizens visiting Sri Lanka said that while most violent crime occur within the local community reports of violent crime and sexual assaults directed at foreigners have been increasing in recent months. The External Affairs Ministry (EAM) is to seek a clarification from the British High Commission in Colombo regarding a travel advice it had issued in May on Sri Lanka.An External Affairs Ministry official said that it is aware of the travel advice and will be seeking information from the British High Commission on the reasons behind issuing such a strong notice to British citizens visiting Sri Lanka. The Foreign office, in a May 30th update, says while violent crimes against foreigners are infrequent, there have been an increasing number of reports of sexual offences including on minors. It further adds that organized and armed gangs are known to operate in Sri Lanka and have been responsible for targeted kidnappings and violence, although there is no evidence to suggest that U.S. citizens are at particular risk. (Colombo Gazette)
The note left near Dave Gilmour’s propertyCredit:Solent News & Photo Agency The note, which asks Mr Gilmour to “leave our ‘hood alone”, is signed off by the words “Save Hove From Property Tycoons”.Mrs Samson moved to the city in 2009 and is said to have been keen to restore the building to its former glory before architectural reviews revealed that it is not salvageable.The bath house was closed in the 1940s and the building was deployed as a makeshift hospital during the Second World War.Squatters from an art group called Chalk Circle occupied the building in 1999 and were allowed to stay there until 2006, when they were evicted due to complaints from residents about noise and rubbish. Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is planning to demolish a 122-year-old bath house to make way for a luxury home.The 70-year-old rocker and his wife, author Polly Samson, 54, are seeking to build a new home for their eight children on the site of Medina House in Hove, East Sussex, yards from their current home.They want to keep the form of the original building and incorporate heritage features from it.But the proposals have sparked a protest poster proclaiming “we don’t need no demolition, we don’t need no thoughtless plans” has been taped to the building, in reference to the Pink Floyd track Another Brick in the Wall. The building was damaged by fire in 2013 and 2014, with the latter blaze initially assessed as arson by the fire service.Mrs Samson bought the property in October last year for a seven figure fee from developer Sirus Taghan, who had owned it for 16 years.He had been unsuccessful with 20 different planning applications related to the site, including for a block of 11 flats.Keb Garavito-Bruhn, partner at London-based Pilbrow & Partners, said that Mrs Samson had “fallen in love” with the property.He said: “Her ambition was to keep it and convert it into a family home and we have been working on plans with them for over a year.”Our plans are to rebuild Medina House, keeping the form of the original and incorporating heritage features, like glazed tiles from the old bath house.”A private home for Polly and her family, our design adapts the form and fabric of the original to its new use with contemporary sustainable construction.”We have been talking to neighbours and the council about these ideas and now look forward to presenting them to the community.”A planning application for the new development could be submitted imminently and work on the new home could begin in spring next year. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.