The Ministry of Sports announced that the suspension placed on Sri Lanka rugby was revoked during a recent meeting convened in Paris. It is reported that the decision, which has been validated by Qais Al Dalai, will be formally disclosed in the coming days. Additionally, the Ministry’s media unit has conveyed that there was a comprehensive discussion regarding the incorporation of essential amendments to the constitution of Sri Lanka Rugby. This would involve the removal of voting rights for associations that do not make substantial contributions to the advancement of the sport.
We have elucidated the justifications behind the initial suspension of Sri Lankan rugby right from the outset. Just from the aforementioned two points in this announcement, one can glean insights into the conduct of the minister and the conduct of Asia Rugby. Asia Rugby should deal with Sri Lanka Rugby. It is an internationally recognized tradition.
However, Lasitha Gunaratne, who previously held the position of rugby president and was recently a member of the Minister’s National Sports Council, cast his vote in favor of Qais Al Dalai’s opponent.
In light of this situation, Qais Al Dalai, who had previously been somewhat distant from Sri Lanka Rugby, got in touch with Namal Rajapaksa, who was appointed as Sports Minister at that time, and his friend, a former Sri Lanka Rugby President, Asanga Senaviratne. That is putting the relationship with Sri Lankan Rugby in the second place. This is a step that international Olympic sports, such as rugby, typically do not undertake. But the minister and Qais Al Dalai are working in agreement to connect Namal Rajapaksa to the administration of rugby by creating a position that is not in the constitution for Asanga Senaviratne, who can bow down politically. n the same letter regarding the appointment, the Director General of Sports has noted the relationship between the two parties. For that, there is no good response from Sri Lanka Rugby.
The reason is because that, both Lasitha and Asanga had accumulated substantial debts during their respective tenures and had eroded the trust of the rugby administration. Also because Sri Lanka Rugby is still paying a fine of £50,000 to the international federation for sending foreign players to international matches for Sri Lanka during Asanga’s presidency.
Both Minister Namal Rajapaksa and Minister Roshan Ranasinghe aligned themselves with the Asia President and, until recently, supported the obstruction of the former President while imposing bans on Sri Lanka rugby. This action was a consequence of the verbal conflict between the Asia President and the Sri Lankan President.
This occurred because the Asia Rugby and Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Sports made decisions concerning Sri Lankan rugby, bypassing the rugby administration that had been appointed to represent the official rugby community in Sri Lanka with the majority’s approval. This is a significant error.
When this issue was transferred from Minister Namal Rajapaksa to Minister Roshan Ranasinghe, the decision taken by Minister Namal Rajapaksa before that was unraveling before the court. But instead of accepting that decision as the ministry and the minister, Roshan Ranasinghe behaved to find a reason to somehow ban the Rugby administration while protecting the personalities of the ministers.
In the end, the Sports Minister relied on the proposal put forth by the Asia President to utilize his authority in banning Sri Lanka Rugby, and he also stood on it. The minister’s actions demonstrated his failure to stand up against what was expected of a leader in preventing unwarranted interference in his country’s sports affairs, highlighting a significant lapse in his leadership.
This is a question that needs to be read from the beginning and asked from one’s own conscience. The minister should have conducted an inquiry into the Rugby President’s actions, so that the international community could feel it.
Even though there were decisions to be made after that, the sports minister always made tough decisions based on his power and they were often given international prohibitions and had to be backward according to the instructions of the law.
Anyway, even at this moment, the Asia President does not inform the official rugby administration that represents the country in his region that the international ban will be lifted, but he also informs the minister of that fact.
The political authority and the Asia President are talking about the sport of rugby. In this state of mind, it is not difficult to identify the minister as well as the Asia President who is angry about Sri Lanka not voting in two ways.
The Asia Rugby has taken the help of Sri Lankan politics and has already made up for the loss of not getting the vote by strategically destroying the pride of Sri Lanka Rugby which is more than a hundred years old.
Also, due to those lapses and obstructions, Sri Lanka Rugby team, which did not function properly, was brought down and they paved the way to push forward from the first round of this year’s Asian Games and managed to finish the tournament above Sri Lanka.
Sports Minister Mr. Roshan Ranasinghe expressed his gratitude to the officials of the World and Asia Rugby for establishing a robust governance framework and affording the Sri Lanka Rugby team the opportunity to engage in international competitions in the days to come.
This is also substantiated in the press release issued by the Sports Ministry regarding the dialogue between the Asia President and the Sports Minister concerning Sri Lanka Rugby. This implies that all necessary actions in Sri Lanka Rugby will be carried out with the support of the Asia President, and it’s an endeavor led by the Minister.
As the Minister Namal Rajapaksa brought a new committee together with the Asia President to shape the shape of Sri Lanka Rugby so that his country can dominate Sri Lanka further, he uses the Sports Minister who wants to be the almighty of this country’s sports.
At the Asian Games, with the blessings of the Sri Lankan Ministers, the Asia President prepared the coffin for Sri Lanka Rugby. Now the minister is preparing to find a hoe for the Asia president to dig a groove and dig pits. The initial phase has been accomplished successfully.
The current minister will skillfully lead the game to easily fill the pride of Sri Lanka Rugby for hundreds of years with insults and defeats by achieving the next step of the Asia President who managed to pass Sri Lanka in the Asian tournament and get close to the previous high level of Sri Lanka in Asia. This photo captures the meeting between the Sports Minister and the Asia President. Undoubtedly, this harmony will work to show more good games in the future.
*Adapted from original article “ආසියානු සභාපතිගේ සහ ක්රිඩා ඇමතිගේ වෙට්ටු සහ රගර්” by Nishman Ranasinghe published on 06.11.2023.