Rajapaksha's plot to secure NOC top seat!

Sports associations are enthusiastic about the election for the National Olympic Committee which is to take place before the end of this year. The NOC had its last election in 2009. The election could not be held in 2013 due to shortcomings in the sports constitution. Most of them were addressed with the mediation of NOC chief Hemasiri Fernando and sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara. However, more amendments are needed.


Introducing a new structure for the NOC too, is being looked at. As the first step, the NOC is to be renamed the Sri Lanka Olympic Committee.

Accordingly, a general meeting of the NOC has been summoned on November 09 to discuss those amendments and the election. Fernando has already announced he would not contest again. Some sports associations are making preparations to elect a new chief. The Rajapaksa camp is involved in machinations to secure that seat. Its agent in the NOC is Rohan Fernando, chairman of its financial committee and also of the Rowing Federation.

There is proof that he represents the Rajapaksa camp. On the last 10th a discussion took place at the Golf Club to secure the NOC chairmanship for him. Fernando, Waruni Amunugama, Dian Gomes (boxing association chief), Kanchana Jayaratne (taekwondo association chief), A.S. Nalaka (volleyball association secretary) and an Army major participated. The country knows Amunugama and Fernando are Rajapaksa loyalists. Jayaratne is MP Pavitra Wanniarachchi’s husband. Gomes is Fernando’s closest friend. All of them are paying attention to the NOC chairman and secretary positions, as they are positions that accompany privileges to amass wealth for generations. During the Rajapaksa regime, Gomes and Fernando reigned like kings. If the Rajapaksas do not pay their attention to a place of wealth, that should thought twice.

Everybody knows the progress and the financial strength of the NOC. Rajapaksas know how to play a game even without power. The NOC is now faced with this challenge. It is a property of this country, not a personal one. The country’s properties becoming personal properties is no new experience, but that should not happen anymore. The NOC should not fall into an abyss again.

(to be continued)

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