An AGM most foul cries Dervin
By Samiddha Kalmith Rathnayake
Newly elected president of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) Maj.
Gen. Palitha Fernando said that he was disgusted with the allegations that have
been made against him before and after the elections.
Fernando beat former president Dervin Perera convincingly by 84 votes to 25 at
the AGM held on Thursday in what can be considered as one of the biggest
victories in athletics history.
“These are things that anyone would tell after losing an election. But I know
that I won it fairly,” Fernando told The Nation.
He stated that he has got lots of plans to bring the standard of athletics to a
Losing candidate Perera accused Fernando of foul play at the AGM.
“I have been in this field for years and I know everybody. If something goes
wrong somewhere I will come to know about it. That’s why I make this allegation.
There had been instances where the Army had even gone to the houses of voters
and insisted on their vote. This is not a fair way to win,” he said.
The result clearly gives a hint of the unpopularity that Perera has among the
rest of the members.
The Jani Chathurangi episode perhaps is the messiest incident that happened
under the reign of Perera, but he denies the fact that it had anything to do
with his defeat and confirmed that he will continue as a coach in the future.
“Because of the presidency I had to neglect all my other duties including my
coaching career. But now I have ample time for that and will soon recommence my
coaching,” he remarked.
Perera was coach of Chaturangi before he distanced himself from her when she was
found guilty of taking a banned drug and was subsequently banned from athletics.
The rest of the office bearers who were appointed at the AGM are as follows:
Vice-Presidents: Sunil Gunawardena, P. H .D. Waidyathilaka, Brig. Pari Lyanage,
S. W. Nimalsiri, N. M. Devendran, V. K. Indika. Secretary: Soma Pinnawala.
Assistant Secretary: Yasarohana de Silva. Treasurer: Shanthasiri Silva.
Assistant Treasurer: H. A. Upali. Recorder: G. G. U. Samankumara.
Renovation of Ananda College Playground
The refurbishment work of the Ananda College
playground officially commenced last Friday with the participation of some
distinguished guests. Out of the total cost of Rs. 10 million that was assessed
for this work, Rs. 4.5 million was provided by Sri Lanka Cricket. In the picture
(from right) Bandula Warnapura (Director Operations, Sri Lanka Cricket),
Anuruddha Polonowita (Pitch Consultant SLC), B.A. Abeyratne (Ananda Principal),
Jayantha Dharmadasa (President, Sri Lanka Cricket) and K. Mathivanan (Secretary,
SLC) cut the first sod. (Pic by Chamila Karunaratne)
Colombo Lions pick a soccer bronze in Bangkok
Sri Lanka was recently represented in the third
Bangkok International Soccer 7s. The Bangkok International Soccer 7s is an
invitation tournament that provides a socially competitive environment for
players who approach the game with the right attitude and in the right spirit.
With no prize money at stake, teams take part for one reason only, their love of
The Sri Lankan participation was selected from the capitals ‘Colombo Lions’
squad and after months of trials and pre-tournament training, Lion’s Manager
Keith Mullan and Team Captain Richard Lloyd selected seven other extremely fit
over 35 year olds to join them in the City of Angels.
The tournament boasted international teams from as far away as China, Japan,
Germany and Sri Lanka. Of the 12 teams that entered the Mighty Lion’s returned
home with a very creditable joint third in the veterans section and manager
Mullan said, “We are nearly there and show all the right attributes to win the
Pataya Tournament on June 07”.
By winning the bronze medal in Bangkok the Colombo Lions automatically qualify
as a top seed in the prestigious Pataya tournament that normally attracts about
Being the first team from Sri Lanka to enter these tournaments, team Captain
Richard ‘Next’ Lloyd could not believe the media attention it attracted. Richard
“We were the only team there that didn’t have a major sponsor and must have
looked like the poor relations next to teams that had sponsors. For the Pataya
Tournament we will be on the look out for sponsors and the old man of our team
Jack O’Regan (Jackoregan@hotmail.co.uk) is waiting to hear from all good willed
potential kit and travel sponsors.
Lankan footballers do the country proud
Mariks from Kandy
Sri Lanka footballers did Kandy proud when they beat the strong Malaysian XI in
the 2nd International at the Sugathadasa Stadium last Monday.
Sri Lanka’s master in football Manila Fernando planned out the Sri Lanka’s
strategy, after they lost the first game 4-1.
In the first game, the Malaysians took advantage and made the game in their
favor with a punishing 4-1 win. Their tally comprised three goals in the first
half and one in the second.
This international game, was the first for our lads, though this match had no
bearing on the Asian Cup Championship, yet it generated a lot of heat among the
players, who were seen going hard at each other.
From the start, it was evident that the Malaysians had come determined to knock
the daylights out of the Sri Lankan footballers. The Sri Lankan lads played a
good brand of football though they lost the first game.
Malaysia took the lead through a goal coming from right inside Hade Afar. Eight
minutes later they got their second goal from K. Sahabuddin. The other two goals
came from Azlam Ismail and Zamanian Misbah. For the Sri Lankans it was Kasun
Jayasuriya’s boot which gave them the solitary goal.
The newly elected, President and Secretary Hurley Silvera and Hafiz Marikar
graced the game, and were introduced to both teams by Mushin Ariff who was the
In the second International played on Monday after being 0-1 down in the first
half Sri Lankan footballers had a terrific time in containing the strong young
Malaysians and pulled off a 2-1 victory.
The Malaysians were not in their normal mood, like in the first game. It was the
Sri Lankan footballers who won the hearts of the people with their attacking
brand of football. They made the people take note of themselves as a potential
power in Asian football in the years to come.
Malaysia scored through Amanian Mizbah, to take the early lead and led 1-0 at
the breather. Sri Lankans looked a completely different outfit in the second
half and transformed themselves into a fighting unit. They were fast on the
field for the entire duration of the second half. They proved superior to the
Malaysians in forward play and were hounding the ball like a set of tigers let
loose. Their defence too was terrific which brought the Malays attacking
machinery to a grinding halt.
Sri Lanka’s victory was a well-earned one which the entire team should be proud
of. The scorers were Fauzan and Ali.
The Malaysian High Commissioner, Nazirah Hussain was the chief guest and soon
after the game Silvera was there to greet the players together with the CEO
Silvera told The Nation that everyone played well and it was a good game of
football. “The dedication of the players, the discipline they maintained during
the game and the backing from the management committee was what really made us
win the second game,” he said.
Silvera didn’t wish to single out any particular player but had some encouraging
words for Kasun and Channa.
“This was my committee’s first international and we did well both on and off the
field. We are sure to make progress in this sport,” he said.
Crysantha Perera said it was great of the boys to win this game after being 0-1
down at half-time. “The reason why this game wals a memorable one was the way
our boys played in the second half. It was interesting to see them playing man
to man and with the ball all the time,” he said. “All the players were fit and
lasted the duration, and played as a team. That helped us in big way.”
The manager of the Malaysian team Mohamed Shazil Shail Mohamed said that though
his team won the first game the Sri Lankan players were good. “They conceded
four goals due to a few errors. In the second game Sri Lankans played a
different game and gave a good display of football.”