Russian Embassy awaits findings by Presidential Probe
Posted on February 27th, 2024

 By KELUM BANDARA Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Colombo, Feb 27 (Daily Mirror) – In the wake of reports that President Ranil Wickremesinghe ordering an immediate investigation into the circular asking overstaying Russian and Ukrainian tourists to leave within 14 days, the Russian Embassy in Colombo said it awaits the results of the probe directed by the President.

Asserting that there is no official information as of now, an embassy spokesman said it is an internal affair of Sri Lanka and Russia, unlike other countries, will not interfere in them.

In the meantime, the embassy, in one of its press releases issued earlier, said it requests all its citizens staying in Sri Lanka for tourism or residing permanently to strictly follow Sri Lankan laws and customs.

Earlier, the circular was issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration saying that Ukrainian and Russian nations living in Sri Lanka for a long term should leave within 14 days.

The circular said that Ukrainians and Russians who were affected by the stoppage of flights to their home countries after the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war were allowed to remain in Sri Lanka since February 28, 2022, a full two years, based on free visa extensions and without the imposition of penalties for expired tourist visas.

However, the President ordered to revoke it. He also ordered a probe into it. Sri Lanka currently depends on Russia as one of its source markets for tourism. There are direct flights operating from Russia bringing in tourists.

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