Home World News Hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian citizens have been living in Sri Lanka for 2 years without returning to collect visa fees

Hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian citizens have been living in Sri Lanka for 2 years without returning to collect visa fees

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Hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian citizens have been living in Sri Lanka for 2 years without returning to collect visa fees

Sri LankaGovernment officials announced today that they have decided to stop screening people who have been in the country in the last two years.Russiaand is issued to Ukrainian citizens free of charge for a long periodvisa, Earlier, a Russian-run nightclub in Sri Lanka was suspected of hosting a party that was restricted to white people, drawing criticism from netizens.

Reuters reported that following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Sri Lanka allowed Russian and Ukrainian citizens to reside in the country and enjoy free visas. Now they have to pay the fee.

Public Security Minister Tiran Ales told Reuters that if they wanted to stay in Sri Lanka, a 30-day visa would cost about $50 and they could stay as long as they immediately renewed their visa.

Sri Lankan immigration authorities said last week they would end free long-term visas for Russian and Ukrainian citizens and set a March 7 departure deadline for those without new visas. This notice sparked discussion on social media.

Sri Lanka Tourism Organization President Priyantha Fernando said it is estimated that around 300 to 400 Russians and Ukrainians will stay in Sri Lanka from February 2022.

Sri Lanka’s visa decision comes at a time when nightclubs run by Russians in Sri Lanka have sparked public outrage as they are suspected of organizing events restricted to white people.

This nightclub in the Sri Lankan coastal city of Unawatuna posted a “White Party” advertisement to promote the recent events, NBC News reported. Such activities generally require wearing white clothing, but the poster added the sentence “Face control: white.” Netizens thought this meant that only white people could participate, and they were angry.

The nightclub later announced the cancellation of the event on social media Instagram, saying it would “never support any type of racist statement or organization.” A user claiming to be a party organizer also apologized on IG, saying the poster was “not malicious or racist.”

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