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New passport application system from June

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The Immigration and Emigration Controller General, Mr Harsha Ilukpitiya, announced that President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s initiative to digitize public services includes the implementation of an online passport application system in the coming days.

This new process aims to streamline the passport application process and ensure that passports are delivered to applicants’ residences within a span of three days.

During his appearance on the ‘101 Katha’ program produced by the Presidential Media Division, he highlighted the development of this procedure and its wide availability.

To facilitate the efficient delivery of passports, 50 regional secretariats across the island have been equipped with the necessary facilities. Once applicants submit their relevant applications to the nearest Regional Secretariat and complete the required procedures, the passport will be dispatched to their residence via a courier service within three days.

This initiative comes in response to reports of brokers causing disruptions in the passport issuance process. As a result, Minister of Public Security, Mr. Tiran Alas, issued instructions to the Immigration and Emigration Department to develop an innovative program to eliminate such interference. The department aims to popularize this newly designed program during the month of June, marking a significant milestone in its history. Achieving a successful execution of this program during the department’s 75th anniversary next year would be a remarkable accomplishment.

Under the new system, individuals can conveniently apply for passports from their homes by visiting www.immigration.gov.lk. By selecting the ‘Apply for passports’ option and validating the provided information, applicants will receive the necessary application form. Before uploading the soft copy of the form, applicants can specify whether they prefer the expedited ’03 day service’ or the standard ’02 week service.’

Following this, applicants must visit their Divisional Secretariat to provide their fingerprints and make the required payment via the online system offered by the Bank of Ceylon. For those unable to complete the process at home, they can visit an authorized photo studio under the Immigration and Emigration Department to obtain the necessary documents and fulfil the requirements.

In case individuals encounter difficulties making online payments after visiting the Divisional Secretariat and providing their fingerprints, alternative payment facilities are available. After submitting their fingerprints, the Divisional Secretariat will provide a designated number, which can be presented to the Bank of Ceylon. The amount due will then be transferred to the Immigration and Emigration Department.

To support these efforts, fingerprint scanners and cameras have been deployed in the 50 Divisional Secretariat Offices, and the Department of Posts has introduced a dedicated courier service.

Through a collaborative arrangement with the postal service, passports will be delivered to applicants’ residences using this courier service, ensuring a swift three-day turnaround.

Furthermore, comprehensive measures have been implemented to prevent any irregularities in the process, with the utilization of advanced technology to the fullest extent possible to maintain efficiency and integrity.

(President Media Division)

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Sri Lanka Mirror wishes everyone a happy Sinhala and Tamil New Year!

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The 2024 Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawned at 09.05 pm last night (April 13).

‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ extends heartfelt New Year greetings to all our readers. May this upcoming year be filled with boundless happiness, prosperity, and success for each and everyone of you.

–  Sri Lanka Mirror team

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Derailed train causes delays on coastal line

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A train has derailed at the Kalutara South railway station on Saturday morning (13).

Trains operating on the Coastal Line are thus experiencing delays, Sri Lanka Railways said.

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Kristalina Georgieva to head IMF for a 2nd term

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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has selected Kristalina Georgieva to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on October 1, 2024.

The appointment comes ahead of the start of the fund’s spring meetings in Washington next week.

Georgieva, who has been in the role since the autumn of 2019, was the sole candidate for the position. However, it was only after European leaders signalled that they would endorse her last month that her candidacy was assured.

In a statement, the coordinators of the Executive Board, Mr. Afonso S. Bevilaqua and Mr. Abdullah F. BinZarah has said, “Looking ahead, the Board welcomes Ms. Georgieva’s ongoing emphasis on issues of macroeconomic and financial stability, while also ensuring that the Fund continues to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of its entire membership. It recognizes her focus on strengthening the Fund’s support to its members through effective policy advice, capacity development and financing. The Board looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Managing Director.”

“I am deeply grateful for the trust and support of the Fund’s Executive Board, representing our 190 members, and honored to continue to lead the IMF as Managing Director for a second five-year term,” Ms. Georgieva has said.

The Bulgarian national has served as Managing Director since October 1, 2019. The Managing Director is the chief of the IMF’s operating staff and Chair of the Executive Board. The Managing Director is assisted by four Deputy Managing Directors in overseeing the Fund’s operations, which serve its membership through about 3,100 staff.

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