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 higher level.
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 soccer.
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 40 teams.
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 said:

“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 match coordinator.
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 Crysantha Perera.
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.”








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