Eran Wickramaratne

MP Wickramaratne travels with some trouble on the SL passport


[The] Sri Lankan passport [is] …97th among global passports…What does it mean? It means that…you have access to 40 countries without a visa. Sri Lanka has very little access to other countries to get a visa on arrival. Among those countries are Pakistan, Singapore, and Dominica…

Eran Wickramaratne’s YouTube Page | December 8, 2023


Partly True

Fact Check

In parliament, MP Wickramaratne made two claims on Sri Lanka’s global passport rankings: (1) the Sri Lankan passport is ranked 97th in the world, and (2) Sri Lankan citizens have access to 40 countries without visas, including Pakistan, Singapore, and Dominica.

To evaluate these claims, consulted the Henley Passport Index (HPI), which the MP cited as his source.

The HPI has a simple scoring system that counts the number of destinations a passport holder can access without pre-departure travel authorisation. For each travel destination, the passport gets a score of 1 if the holders of that passport (a) do not require a visa or (b) can obtain entry permission on arrival as a visa, a permit, or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), without needing pre-departure approval for the same. The HPI evaluates 199 passports against 227 travel destinations. Therefore, the maximum score a passport can get is 227.

On Claim 1: When the MP made the statement, the latest available HPI (for 15 November 2023) reported the rank of the Sri Lankan passport as 97th and the worst-performing passport from Afghanistan as 105th.

The HPI method of assigning a rank to each passport is somewhat unorthodox. It is based on the number of higher scores, not the number of country passports with a higher score. For example, the Sri Lanka and Kosovo passports each had a score of 41 and the same ranking of 97. The Bangladesh passport, which has a score of 40 (one less than Sri Lanka), had the rank 98 instead of 99, despite both Sri Lanka and Kosovo being at 97. This is why the lowest reported rank was 105 despite 199 passports being ranked.

That means the Sri Lankan passport was 97th in the ranking of passports by score. However, in the ranking by country passports (which is the intuitive perception of such a ranking), Sri Lanka was 188th out of 199 countries (as derived from the data on the HPI). Singapore was 1st with a score of 193, and Afghanistan was last (199th) with a score of 27. The HPI data is updated monthly, so the latest score and ranking can change from what is evaluated here.

On Claim 2: In November 2023, the HPI gave the Sri Lankan passport a score of 41, meaning travel to 41 destinations did not require prior authorisation. The site includes Pakistan, Dominica, and Singapore as countries that did not require prior travel authorisation for a Sri Lankan passport holder. checked this against information on the website of the High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka. The guidelines stated that a visa was required, the applicant should submit the forms in person, and that processing could take three to four weeks. Therefore, concluded that information on the HPI was incorrect with regard to travelling to Pakistan on a Sri Lankan passport.

The MP reports Sri Lanka’s score as 40, and the HPI (reporting it as 41 in November) could have had it as 40 in earlier months; he cites the HPI accurately in stating that Sri Lankan passport holders can travel to Pakistan without pre-departure authorisation, but the HPI was found to be not accurate on that. Furthermore, the HPI rank, again cited correctly by the MP, is reported in a non-intuitive way as 97, when the data shows the score of the Sri Lankan passport placing it in 188th place compared to the 199 country passports evaluated. These issues in the overall claim arise from defects reported in the source used by the MP.

Therefore, we classify the MP’s statement as PARTLY TRUE.

*’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, will revisit the assessment.



Visa Guidelines, the High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, (last accessed 22 February 2024).

About the Henley Passport Index. (n.d.-b). Henley & Partners.

Passport Index comparison. (n.d.). Henley & Partners.

The Official Passport Index ranking. (2023). Henley & Partners.

The Official Passport Index ranking. (2024). Henley & Partners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *