Sri Lanka Terminates Long-stay Visas For Russians And Ukrainians Amid Criticism Of A 'whites Only' Policy

Posted by Admin on February, 29, 2024

Sri Lanka has instructed thousands of Russians and Ukrainians residing in the country on expired extended visas due to the Ukraine conflict to depart within a fortnight, as per officials. The move follows public outcry on social media regarding Russian-operated businesses engaging in illicit activities and enforcing a "whites only" practice, barring locals from entry.
Immigration authorities have informed Sri Lanka's Tourism Ministry that Russian and Ukrainian visitors must leave the nation within two weeks starting from February 23, as their visas have expired, officials quoted by news agency PTI disclosed.

The Sri Lankan Tourism Ministry revealed it had received grievances about Russians and Ukrainians overstaying in Sri Lanka and establishing restaurants and nightclubs. They allegedly employed foreigners and utilized non-local payment methods, bypassing domestic systems.

Sri Lankan Tourism Minister Harin Fernando informed the Daily Mirror that complaints had been lodged about certain Russians operating illegal enterprises in the southern region of the country. He noted that raids were conducted following consultations with the immigration department, as reported by an international publication.
However, a notice from President Ranil Wickremesinghe's office instructed an investigation into the decision to mandate the departure of Ukrainians and Russians without Cabinet endorsement.
According to the President's Media division, PTI reported that the Sri Lankan government has not officially decided to revoke the visa extensions granted to Ukrainian and Russian tourists.
To revitalize the tourism sector, Sri Lanka, grappling with its worst economic downturn since 2022, initiated visa-on-arrival for 30 days and allowed extensions of up to six months, as per The Independent.

This entry was posted on February, 29, 2024 at 11 : 31 am and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response from your own site.

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