Visa rejection Dooms Kazakhstan Tour
By Anjana Kaluarachchi
Sri Lanka Athletics desperate bid to send a team to Kazakhstan for the World Athletics Bronze medal meet, Kosanov Memorial in Almaty is doomed, as they have rejected visas of Sri Lanka, Maldives and another country, said President of AASL, Maj Gen (rtd) Palitha Fernando.
US based high jumper Ushan Thiwanka Perera, who has jumped 2.30m, was the prime hope of qualifying for the Olympics during the meet, as he has been affected by lack of competition to reach the Olympic target despite being ranked joint 11th best high jumper in the world this year. However, hopes have been doomed now, though he is set to compete in India later this month.
Pavel Kukin, the main contact person of the Kosanov Memorial Meet, stated they have not been able to get an invitation registered with the Migration Committee of Kazakhstan.
“Unfortunately, we still have not been able to get the invitations registered with the Migration Committee of Kazakhstan. Without this, it is impossible to apply for an e-visa.
Since embassies do not work, an e-visa is the only way to obtain permission to enter Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, most likely the Sri Lankan team will not be able to take part in the Kosanov Memorial,” said Pavel, replying to a query by Ceylon Today. As reported by Ceylon Today earlier, SLA had to go through a logistical nightmare to try and send the team to Kazakhstan, especially with the lack of a Kazakhstan Embassy in Sri Lanka.
Five athletes were set to travel to Kazakhstan - 400m runners Kalinga Kumarage and Nadeesha Ramanayaka, Javelin Thrower Sumedha Ranasinghe, 800m runner Nimali Liyanarachchi (from Sri Lanka) and Thiwanka (from USA). SLA will now pin their hopes on the Interstate Athletics Championship in India, where 15 athletes are set to take part.