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The True Face of Greatness or the Fake Face of Mask..?

Colombo (LNW): When the Sports Minister is criticized, he calls the critics as mere citizens who lack a passion for sports and are not even worthy to keep in the country.

What he doesn’t understand is that the people who stand behind him wherever he goes, will not falling in to the pit and however, after the Minister’s downfall, they will position themselves on the edge of the groove and exploit him for their own benefits. According to the minister, those who point out potential pitfalls ahead are considered traitors in his view. Now the Minister is spending the time to understand things with various examples.

The Minister made numerous statements regarding the football ban, and there were also supporters who cheered him on. But what happened? Eventually, the Minister had to issue a new gazette acknowledging that he had not acted in accordance with the regulations of the International Football Federation and had based his actions on an unconstitutional basis.

A similar situation is emerging in relation to the game of rugby. In opposition to the ban imposed on the Sri Lanka Rugby under a section of the Sports Act, the court ruled in favor of the SLR, allowing it to continue its operations and allowed a fresh election to be conducted. Accordingly, the Ministry should have withdrawn the case up to the facts necessary to withdraw it, but after delaying it, it was removing and again using the same clause and imposed a rugby ban. Later, a new type of interim committee known as the Rugby Stabilization Committee was appointed.

An international ban was also imposed on rugby, similar to what happened with football. Also National Olympic Committee conveyed to the international community they would not accept the Stabilization Committee. As a consequence, Rugby faced an international ban due to the situation. The reason behind the international ban on rugby is that it, like football, is perceived as a victim of political manipulation on the international consideration.

The courts carefully examined this situation and gave a decision and impose political censorship that the minister could not intervene in the independence of rugby.

With this situation, the efforts of the Rugby administration, which had been striving for a long time to achieve the dream of Asia Rugby medals, were severely undermined and ruined. But the international federation has agreed to open a way for Sri Lankan rugby to fulfill that goal through the National Olympic Committee, taking into consideration the judgment.

The Stabilization Committee, seen as an extension of the Minister’s political agenda, failed to devise plans for the rugby club to pursue Asian medals and uphold the sport’s integrity. Now, the Court of Appeal has asserted that if the committee’s powers are revoked, they will resort to the Supreme Court to prolong the decision-making process. This means that the country’s dream of Asian medals will be lost.

The international federation imposed the ban because the Minister intervened and prevented the rugby federations of the country from functioning in accordance with the constitution. Instead, the minister appointed as Stabilization Committee, which led to the loss of international recognition and resulted in the ban on the country’s rugby activities.

The only thing that has been done apart from doing the same old thing in a new gazette using the same decision is to appoint a Stabilization Committee, withdrawing a decision made through several sections of the Sports Act. It is also done by the Minister.

According to the international community, this matter is also included in the political pressures that cause Sri Lanka not to be recognized. Therefore, the Stabilization Committee, which is a part of the same political party, has hindered the necessary freedom of the Rugby administration, which was appointed with the allowed of the court. Also, it should be resolved urgently to prevent participation in the Asian tournament.

Furthermore, it is concerning that the committee appointed by the Minister consists of individuals who were involved in attempting to dissolve the rugby administration. These individuals had submitted a petition claiming that the election, which was conducted under the court’s guidance, was conducted incorrectly.

Then there is no need to tell again how political and independent these committees are. In the current situation, the autonomy of rugby is severely compromised due to the involvement of political influences and the actions of appointed committees.

To start the National Rugby League matches and the players of sports clubs the opportunity to sign contracts and acquire sponsorships has hindered. Despite the court’s order to the sports Minister and the heads of ministries and development departments not to interfere with the officially appointed rugby committee, the interim committee, which represents the same system, is destroying rugby by wielding its power granted by the challenged political authority instead of supporting the sports clubs.

The Sri Lankan politician is a character who works in an idiotic guise, thinking of his pride before the country. It is widely known that Sri Lanka’s rugby has been under the influence of the Rajapaksa family for almost two decades. Instead of prioritizing decisions for the development of rugby or the country’s rugby in general, it appeared that Rajapaksa’s sons’ desires influenced how the game was played. Additionally, rugby seemed to operate under diplomatic protection whenever the President and First Lady attended matches.

But blessing it all, those who were in the rugger chairs worked hard for a rugger game that was not the country’s pride.

So what happened in those situations?

  • The inclusion of foreigners in the Sri Lanka rugby team resulted under penalty of £50,000, which is still being paid today.
  • Due to implementing various programs without income and sponsors, inviting the likes of Mahinda Rajapaksa to them, and the time spent they putting on shows, Sri Lanka Rugby is stuck in a huge debt burden.

The situation with these matters had changed when Namal Rajapaksa became Minister. Although the person who came to the position has done some of his organizational tasks legally, Namal was able to make it clear through history that the game of rugby cannot be done arbitrarily according to his own wishes except for the sake of rugby.

Based on this situation, an individual who supports the Sports Minister’s arbitrary actions and has gained favor with the Asian President was appointed to the rugby administration, alongside the Asia President and the Sports Minister. This non-acceptance of the Rugby Federation has been a major factor contributing to the divide between politics and rugby in Sri Lanka, as well as between Asia Rugby and Sri Lankan Rugby.

Despite changes in Ministers, the situation remained largely the same after Roshan Ranasinghe was appointed as a member, representing that same political culture influenced by the Rajapaksa theory. The newly appointed Minister had a stronger inferiority complex than the high dimension of former Minister, so the desire to stand out as the chief of the game was strong. The Minister was not satisfied with the Rugby administration, which was carrying out its work without going to stand at the Minister’s door to meet the unnecessarily.

As a second step, the advance of the first objection begins from there. Many of the Stabilization Committee signed the petition to the Minister In the election protest led for that. Through them, it is clear that there is a different game here than rugby.

There are no investigations into the ban on the behavior of the Asia chairman. No charge sheets. But the of Sri Lanka Rugby President has been banned. It is the same in Sri Lanka. The reason for the ban, which is now almost said to the sports Minister, is the ban of the Asia president.

Why is he banned?

Involved in financial fraud? A sexual bribe..?

No tournaments held?

None of this. There is no such thing in Asia President. There is no reason in saying the same to the Minister of Sri Lanka. The reason for the ban is that the Asia president is ready to interfere in Sri Lankan sports affairs.

At that time, it was a blaming during a personal phone call.

If a person who fought for the independence of the country’s sports administration is sacked or banned, he should not be a Minister who loves the country. This is the reason why the Minister does not say that. Therefore, the Minister does not care if plays Asia rugger or not. The Minister has also casually agreed to the involvement of the Asian president in improperly influencing a sports association in the country.

So there are no politicians in Sri Lanka to save the people who stand for this country or to protect those people. It is difficult for the president to say anything to Roshan Ranasinghe. The current Rugby administration is not satisfied for the Rajapaksas either.

Sometimes, if they were in power, things would have happened like the judges who were leaving work were asked to come home for friendship and were given higher responsibilities in the court. But due to the judiciary, it has been possible to oppose the desire of politics to those who have interfered rugby. However, anyone can do to delay the court decisions by various arguments and destroy the opportunity for Sri Lanka to go for an Asia medal.

What is clear, however, is that the dissolution of the rugby done by the Minister has not been widely accepted by the court so far. The fact that ministerial work is political has also been accepted by the international community. It is also banned because it is wrong and not acceptable. On the one side of the decision taken for the ban, the standing committee that is close to it is not correct. Not only the international community but also the National Olympic Committee does not accept it . In such a situation, the only thing that the Stabilization Committee can do is to come to the Court of Appeal and close the possibility for Sri Lanka to participate in the Asia trophy.

The sports Minister has no idea about this. Rather than taking the political value of the fact that a medal came from rugby during his time, it is important and necessary for the Minister to blame the administration for those losses one day from the divinity of sports law that nothing can be done without his blessing.

The intelligence of the Minister has also been numbed to the extent that he does not realize that acquisitions are more valuable than losses. The Rajapaksas have no such feelings either and they have no shame either. Making the same mistake, they are doing what is important to them, not to succeed in what is important to the country.

The scope of the disaster is widening to the extent that the preventions made by betting on such in competencies are now not only knocking Asia medals, but also into the pockets of rugby players at the national level.

Against this, the most serious thing that can happen if Sri Lankan rugby is actively maintained by engaging in administrative and financial affairs with the political blessing of an administration that does not accept the international and the country’s National Olympic Committee is the prolongation of the international ban. And will so it becomes even more powerful to the point where it cannot be removed.

It is not easy for the sports Minister to issue a gazette to correct the facts related to his stupid work after being placed in such a position and ruining the country’s rugby. Even if the court has directed not to interfere, it can be to go to such a gazette or go to the court to inform about the omissions and take permission.

Then it may be necessary to inquire whether or not there has been a protest by the officially appointed members of the Sri Lanka rugby administration, which is being considered legally by the international rugby administration.

It is important if the Standing Committee can stay away from preventing Sri Lankan rugby players from getting a great opportunity by saying that they will go to the Supreme Court. If everyone around this event feels that it is more important to have a conscience who thinks it is important to confirm before the conscience of the public who is the greatest, we will see a Sri Lankan rugby team in China.

“Who won” at the last moment after participating in the tournament without proper training and losing? One day when there is a post- investigation about the collapse of Sri Lankan rugby, you may have to ask yourself in front of a mirror. It is important to keep that in mind for today’s interrupting of rugby and those who support it in any way.

11 th of August is more important in this way. If the standing committee, which is part of the Minister’s decision to treat the international federation as a political influence based on personal interests for the sake of a non-existent power, asks the court to allow the official rugby to do the necessary work in relation to the Asia tournament while keeping the objection, it will go to the Supreme Court to do what it is trying to do. More than this will be a great work for the moment.

It will also be a great opportunity to send a message to the community that they have a love for rugby.

*Adapted from original article, “ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨත්වයේ සැබෑ මුහුණ ද වෙස් මුහුණ ද” published on 06.08.2023

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