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President Wickremesinghe Orders Probe into Notice Mandating Departure of Russian and Ukrainian Tourists

Investigation Launched as Notification Issued Without Cabinet Approval

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed an inquiry into the notification instructing Russian and Ukrainian tourists to leave the country within 14 days. The President’s Media Division (PMD) disclosed that the relevant notification, issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration, did not receive prior approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.

As per the PMD statement, the Government of Sri Lanka has not officially decided to annul the visa extensions granted earlier to Russian and Ukrainian tourists who have been residing in the country since the commencement of the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Department of Immigration and Emigration had recently issued a notice, stipulating a 14-day period starting from 23rd February for all long-term Russian and Ukrainian tourists in Sri Lanka to depart.

The department cited its decision not to further extend tourist visas free of charge for Russians and Ukrainians who had prolonged their stay in Sri Lanka over the past two years due to the ongoing conflict. Allegedly, concerns over certain foreign tourists engaging in illicit business activities within the country prompted this decision.

The initiated investigation aims to scrutinize the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the notification and ensure procedural adherence in such matters.

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