Controversial Notice to Russian and Ukrainian Tourists to Depart Country in 14 Days: President Orders Investigation into Tourist Visa Cancellation

February 25, 2024

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken swift action in response to the controversial notification mandating Russian and Ukrainian tourists to depart Sri Lanka within 14 days. The President has ordered an inquiry into the matter, expressing concern over the issuance of such notices without prior Cabinet approval.

The President's Media Division has clarified that the Sri Lankan Government has not officially sanctioned the revocation of visa extensions for these tourists. This move comes amidst confusion, as the Ministry of Public Security has denied issuing any directive for the mentioned tourists to leave the country within the timeframe.

In a statement, the Ministry of Public Security assured the public that a thorough investigation will be conducted to shed light on the issue.

The controversy arose when on February 22, the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration sent a letter to the Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, outlining the requirement for long-staying Russian and Ukrainian tourists to depart within two weeks.