Israel’s embassy for Sri Lanka had not issued a visa to attend the Congress of Palestine Journalists syndicate in Ramallah from 22 to 28 May 2023 to Dharmasiri Lankapeli. Ambassador did not even have the courtesy to provide the reason for refusing my visa.
Regarding this matter, he wrote an objection letter to Israel, Prime Minister, to make inquiry what is the reason for not issuing a visa.
Already got this message from P M office “The form has been successfully sent. Form reference: 97379”. Also got an email “We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail to the Prime Minister’s Office. All e-mails are read, and where appropriate, you will receive a relevant reply.
Prime Minister’s Office – E-Correspondence”
This letter was also copied to the International Federation of Journalists and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate. The full objection letter is published below.
13, June 2023
140/12, Wathuraboda Road,
Narampola, Dekatana, Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister of Israel
Hon Prime Minister,
Objection to the rejection of my tourist visa to attend the International Conference of Journalists in Palestine.
I am, Dharmasiri LANKAPELIGEDARA (Passport Number: N9321924) currently residing at 140/12, Wathuraboda Road, Narampola, Dekatana, Sri Lanka. Following are key facts relating to me:
- I am a retired journalist, currently working as a Media Consultant at Rainbow Institute of Communication, a reputed communication and media consultancy company in Sri Lanka. I work on specific media projects for this organization and receive project-based consultancy payments.
- I am the General Secretary of the Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Unions (FMETU), which is a full-member organization of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
I applied for a visit visa, to attend an important international journalist’s conference from 22 to 28 May, 2023, organized by the Palestine Journalists syndicate in Ramallah. All expenses relating to my participation, including air ticket, internal transport, accommodation and meals were to be borne by the organizers. (Invitation letter attached herewith)
I mentioned in my request letter for the visa that I would return to Sri Lanka as soon as this conference concludes, to continue my duties as a Media Consultant at Rainbow Institute and General Secretary of the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions (FMETU).
I also wish to inform you that I have I participated in many international media conferences as listed below:
- India 06/12/2001 – 10/12/2001/India 30/04/2003 – 02/05/2003
- France 23/05/2004 – 30/05/2004/ France – 15/06/2019 -20/07/2019/ France – 21/02/2018 – 11/03/2018
- Republic of China – 06/07/2005 – 12/07/2005
- Republic of Korea – 29/10/2005 – 5/11/2005/ Republic of Korea – 15/03/2007 – 27/03/2007/ Republic of Korea 06/10/2008 – 11/10/2008
- Russia 27/05/2007 -03/06/2007
- Malaysia – 01/02/2008 – 04/02/2008
- Spain 23/05/2010 – 29/05/2010
- Philippines 01/08/2010-21/08/2010
- Netherlands, France – 09/09/2011 – 18/09/2011/ Netherland, France – 26/06/2014 – 10/07/2014/ Netherland, France – 07/03/2013 – 25/03/2013
- Bangladesh – 15/11/2011 – 25/11/2011
- Ireland – 03/06/2013 – 10/06/2013
- Tunisia 11/06/2019 – 15/06/2019
Unfortunately, your Ambassador to Sri Lanka who is based in India, did not consider my request and did not grant permission for my visa. He dd not even have the courtesy to provide the reason for refusing my visa.
It has also been brought to my attention that Miss Sabina Indrajith of India, Vice President of the International Federation of Journalists too was not issued a visa to attend this same conference. It was reported that leaders of media organizations from many countries of the world participated in this international conference.
The media fraternity in the democratic world condemns this action of your Ambassador to Sri Lanka working from India.
I would greatly appreciate it if you conduct a proper investigation and inform me about this matter.
I would also like to inform this letter is being copied to the International Federation of Journalists and the Palestinian Syndicate of Journalists.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that I am awaiting a response from you as the Prime Minister of Israel.