ECONOMYNEXT – Ukraine tourists in Sri Lanka protested Vladimir Putin’s invasion of their country in front the Russia’s embassy in Colombo calling on the Russian public to pressure their leader to withdraw.
Protestors also urged peace-loving Russian citizens to put pressure on the Kremlin.
“My people in Ukraine are being killed by Russian invaders. I can’t contact my dad. He has been silent for five hours. I can’t contact my friends. They’re hiding from bombing,” a young protestor told Sri Lankan reporters.
“Russian people have by now haven’t done anything to stop it. My role here is to beg you. Russian people, please, go out on the streets. I know this is scary. I know your government is very cruel. But if all of you take action, I have so many Russian friends. I want us to live in peace,” she said.
Protestors were seen carrying placards with slogans like “Ukraine will win” and “Russia attacks Ukraine”.
Monday’s protest was a series of activities organisd by Ukranians holidaying in Sri Lanka ever since Putin declared war last Thursday (24). Most recently, a group of tourists held a silent vigil held in the Galle Fort, a popular tourist destination in the island’s south.
Sri Lanka’s government, meanwhile, is considering extending the visas issued for both Ukrainian and Russian tourists in the country.
Tourism and Aviation Minister Prassanna Ranatunga told EconomyNext: ‘’The measure will be proposed at the cabinet meeting tomorrow. A gazette approval will need to be taken if the visa extension is to be done free of charge.’’
Sri Lanka considering visa extensions for Ukrainian, Russian tourists
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has affected tourism in the island nation, with sources saying a majority of new arrivals to Sri Lanka from different countries have been cancelled or postponed.
Data from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority show that there were 9,883 Ukrainian arrivals period, whilst the Russian arrivals stand at 18,044. (Colombo/Feb28/2022)