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President orders probe into notice for Russian & Ukrainian tourists to leave SL

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has initiated an investigation into the notification issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration, requiring Russian and Ukrainian tourists to leave the country within 14 days. 

The President’s Media Division (PMD) reported that the notification was released without prior approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.

The Government of Sri Lanka has not officially decided to revoke the visa extensions granted to Russian and Ukrainian tourists staying in the country since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war. 

The Department of Immigration and Emigration’s recent notice had given a 14-day period from February 23 for these tourists to leave.

The decision to investigate was prompted by concerns that the department’s notice was issued without the necessary approval processes. 

The notice cited concerns over certain foreign tourists engaging in illegal businesses in the country as the reason for the decision. 

Further updates on the investigation and the status of visa extensions for Russian and Ukrainian tourists in Sri Lanka will be provided as the situation develops.

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Tamil parties agree to field common Presidential candidate

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Several Tamil political parties and a group of representatives of civil organizations have reached an agreement to present a common Tamil candidate for the upcoming Presidential Election.

The agreement was signed in Jaffna today by seven parties including TELO led by MP Selvam Adaikkalanathan, PLOTE led by MP Dharmalingam Siddharthan, Tamil People’s Alliance led by MP C.V. Wigneswaran, Tamil National Party led by Attorney-At-Law N. Sri Kantha, and EPRLF led by Suresh Premachandran.

The Tamil People General Assembly, comprising of several Tamil civil organizations, also signed the agreement.

However, the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) comprising President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran and the Tamil National People’s Front comprising Attorney-At-Law Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam did not sign the agreement today.

(News 1st)

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Club Wasantha’ murder: Tattoo studio owner makes confidential statement

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Dulan Sanjula, the owner of the tattoo studio in Athurugiriya, has made a confidential statement before the Kaduwela Magistrate over the recent shooting and killing of two individuals including Surendra Wasantha Perera alias ‘Club Wasantha’. 

Meanwhile, the seven suspects including Dulan Sanjula have been ordered to be remanded further until August 5, 2024. 

The suspect, who was arrested in connection with the incident, had requested permission to make a confidential statement to the Kaduwela Magistrate. He made this request when the seven suspects arrested in relation to the incident were produced before the court on July 10.

However, the Kaduwela Magistrate had advised the suspect in question to rethink the decision and make the request again during an upcoming court date.

Furthermore, the magistrate ordered the prison officers to provide additional security to the suspects, since there are accomplices of the criminal figure infamously known as “Loku Patee,” who is suspected to be involved in the incident, detained in the prison.

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AKD meets Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs

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National Peoples’ Power (NPP) Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who is currently on a visit to Japan, has held discussions with the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Tsuge Yoshifumi today (July 22).

The discussion, which took place at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, focussed on the current economic and political situation in Sri Lanka, the long-term friendship between the two countries and the next step in diplomatic and economic relations, while special attention was paid to Sri Lanka’s upcoming presidential election.

During the meeting, the Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs congratulated MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake on his visit to Japan.

The Southwest Asian Affairs Director Tsutsumi Taro, Deputy Director of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Iwase Kiichiro, and several members of the Japan Committee of the NPP were also present on the occasion. 

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