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Tourists inconvenienced at Mattala Airport!

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Tourists arriving at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) had to face grave inconveniences due to the delay in getting visas and making payments, it is learnt.

Therefore, over 400 passengers arrived on December 29 and 1,000 passengers arrived on the day before yesterday (02) had been compelled to wait at the airport for three to four hours.

There are only two employees at the counter to pay visa fees while there are only six employees at the visa stamping counter.

However, it was reported that the same service is provided by only two counters at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). MRIA employees said slow internet speed and outdated computers were causing delays in the process.

On the day before yesterday, 1,024 passengers arrived at the Airport from three planes.

There are no duty-free or normal shopping complexes, as well as restaurants for visiting tourists at the MRIA.

Therefore, the passengers have to wait in the airport or in the bus for hours until they arrive at the hotel they have reserved.

Meanwhile, Immigration and Emigration Controller General Harsha Ilukpitiya told the media that this situation has arisen because the Central Bank of Sri Lanka does not accept the electronic bank cards of Russian tourists even though they have been given the opportunity to obtain visas online.

He said the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited has been informed of this situation and more counters will be opened as soon as the necessary facilities are available.

He also said that they have requested approval to hire 60 essential employees for the department.

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Victoria Nuland to visit Sri Lanka next week

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The United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka, next week.

During her visit to Sri Lanka, Under Secretary Nuland will mark the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Sri Lanka relations which coincides with Sri Lanka’s 75th anniversary of Independence.

The American Embassy in Sri Lanka says this in a statement.

Full statement is below.

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland Travels to Colombo for Bilateral U.S.-Sri Lanka Talks

United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland arrived in Colombo with an interagency delegation for meetings with the Government of Sri Lanka, as well as business and civil society leaders.  Other senior members of the interagency delegation include Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Amanda Dory.

Under Secretary Nuland and Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris will co-chair the 4th U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue which will address strengthening democratic institutions, human rights, sustainable economic development, mitigating climate change, deepening trade and investment ties, regional security, and educational cooperation.

Under Secretary Nuland, Ambassador Chung, and the U.S. delegation will meet with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to discuss the challenges posed by the global pandemic and ways to strengthen the U.S.-Sri Lankan partnership.

Under Secretary Nuland and the U.S. delegation will also meet with representatives of civil society and the

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Public urged to inform of unauthorized power outages

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General Public and electricity consumers requested to inform the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) in writing of any unauthorized power outages imposed by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).

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Speaker endorses certificate on 2 Bills

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Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena endorsed the certificate recently (24) on the Regulation of Election Expenditure Bill and the Bureau of Rehabilitation Bill which were debated and passed in Parliament recently.

Accordingly, these bills come into force as the Bureau of Rehabilitation Act No. 2 of 2023 and the Regulation of Election Expenditure Act No. 3 of 2023.

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