President orders probe into notification requiring Russian, Ukraine tourists to leave within 14 days

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered an investigation into the notification issued to Russian and Ukrainian tourists, requiring them to leave the country within 14 days.

According to the President’s Media Division (PMD), the relevant notification was issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration without prior approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.

As such, the Government of Sri Lanka has not officially decided to revoke the visa extensions previously granted to these tourists who have been staying in the country since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, the PMD reported.

The Department of Immigration and Emigration recently issued a notice, granting a period of 14 days from 23 February for all Russian and Ukrainian tourists residing long-term in Sri Lanka to leave the country.

The department had stated that it would no longer keep extending tourist visas free of charge for Russians and Ukrainians who had started staying back in Sri Lanka two years ago, owing to the war.

The decision had reportedly been taken owing to concerns over certain foreign tourists running illegal businesses in the country.