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The “Chair Game” of Olympics has begun!

Colombo (LNW): In anticipation of the upcoming National Olympic Committee election, significant organisational changes and amendments are underway. These alterations involve modifications to key positions and realignments of groups to strategically position individuals for positions of influence and leadership.

This matter initially garnered attention as reports emerged concerning the Director General of the Asian Olympic Committee and the Chairman of the National Olympic Committee. Subsequent investigations revealed a range of allegations, including assertions that the Chairman was entitled to 100 air tickets for the Asian Games, extending to considerations at the highest levels of the country’s leadership, the President. The initially promised allowance during a meeting with the President has purportedly evolved into the mere extension of aid or grant, taking into account the prevailing economic conditions of the nation.

Additional accusations have been directed at the Chairman, including an undisclosed transaction amounting to Rs. 450,000. Termed as spending without prior consent or knowledge, the subsequent reimbursement occurred with knowledge. Given the context of the transaction and prevailing economic conditions, it is unlikely to be deemed a deliberate financial impropriety.

This situation also involves Maxwell de Silva, who faces charges. Allegations encompass non-payment of funds owed to the Sri Lanka Olympics and the misplacement of certain movable properties owned by the organisation.

Furthermore, Maxwell de Silva has accused Suresh Subramaniam of inappropriate conduct during an attempt to address the Asian Council. Allegedly, Subramaniam prevented him from speaking and physically pushed him to relinquish the microphone, further contributing to the complex dynamics surrounding these developments.

The Secretary of the Olympic assembly reported that the individual presiding over the meeting did not afford any participant the opportunity to address the assembly. The Secretary further contends that upon attempting to speak, the Chairman of the National Olympic Committee instructed him to remain seated, asserting that the matter was not applicable to Sri Lanka. Such statements have been characterised as discourteous. The nature of the allegation raises concerns, suggesting that the Chairman may have sought to impede the speaker due to the perceived lack of direct relevance to Sri Lanka. The intricacies of this situation contribute to its complexity.

The above response coming from a place off the official Olympic panel, which is now being divided, catering to a discussion about the crisis also resembles the allegations levelled against Maxwell, he said.

Currently, the Olympic Secretary is facing allegations related to disappearances in Birmingham, and summons have been sent to facilitate questioning on this matter. These accusations have been put forth by specific sports administrations, adding a layer of complexity to the situation. The verification of such claims necessitates precise and substantiated evidence. It is imperative to carefully consider both the accusations and the information presented, taking into account the nature of statements made by the Secretary. While there appears to be a gravity to the situation warranting parliamentary attention, it is crucial to emphasise that thorough investigation is essential, as mere statements may not suffice for conclusive proof.

Allegations between the secretary and the chairman are apparent, suggesting that the current group of officials will not present a unified front in the upcoming election. Maxwell de Silva, who has held the secretary position for an extended period, may perceive challenges in seeking re-election for that role. Consequently, there is speculation that he may be contemplating a transition to an Olympic position through a potential candidacy for the presidency, marking a departure from his previous role.

The prevailing circumstances suggest a scenario in which the international community may deem it necessary to summon the pertinent parties for inquiry in response to the allegations made by Maxwell. Such external scrutiny could potentially quell internal tensions, preventing further escalation of accusations and criticisms emanating from official entities. This, in turn, has the potential to cast a shadow over the overall sports landscape in Sri Lanka.

At times, individuals facing such circumstances may find themselves without readily available assistance. The prospect of undergoing investigations, particularly if they are construed as involving bribery, could pose challenges to those offering support. Similarly, if funds designated for Olympic purposes are perceived to be diverted for personal gain, endeavours to assist the country in such a predicament may encounter obstacles.

Even in the face of potential global repercussions, the pursuit of these pivotal positions may persist. Commencing such internal conflicts two years prior could potentially give rise to challenges in the effective management of significant events, such as the Olympic competition scheduled for the year 2024. Its indirect impact on diligent Olympic officials, involving travel and participation in various international events, may not be light, were the power struggle not the foremost concern to date.

Nonetheless, there remains a two-year timeframe. It is pertinent to conclude by invoking the wisdom inherent in the teachings of Jesus, aligning it with the warmth and spirit of Christmas.

‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’

It is challenging to fathom whether the phrase that rendered those who sought to throw stones at Mary Magdalene speechless would find acceptance in the contemporary political climate. Presently, individuals tend to metaphorically “throw stones” at others to deflect attention from their own missteps. Furthermore, it is apparent within this cultural context that individuals of integrity are unfairly targeted, potentially leading to interventions that may inadvertently contribute to the fabrication of evidence, resulting in the wrongful imprisonment of the innocent. Consequently, a meticulous and discerning observation of these dynamics is imperative. It is evident that this marks the initiation of a competition leading up to the impending election, scheduled to take place after two years.

It is prudent to conduct a thorough examination of issues related to loss and repayment, claims, and abductions individually rather than conflating them. It is evident that an increasing number of individuals will participate in the chair game, surpassing the available number of chairs. Those who typically contribute music to the chair game will align themselves with specific participants. However, the entire nation will be witness to the efficacy of participants in playing the game correctly. The scrutiny will be widespread, and citizens’ enthusiasm to witness a fair game devoid of racial or religious discrimination will be particularly heightened.

*Adapted from original article, ‘ඔලිම්පික් පුටු තරගය ආරම්භ වී ඇති බව පෙනේ‘ by Nishman Ranasinghe, published on 26.12.2023.

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