It is with a feeling of great remorse and regret that I write to tender my resignation from the post of Honorary Vice President of the SLRFU, and consequently my candidature for President of the SLRFU. But it is with greater interest for the game of rugby in Sri Lanka at heart that I have arrived at this decision.
I have drawn inspiration from the statement of His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse, as reported in the newspapers of Friday morning in which he condemns sports politics which have ruined Sri Lankan sports. To quote: “Take all the sports associations in this country and tell me which association doesn’t have brawls to get in to office. If the money that is being used on these sports elections, had been spent on developing the respective sports, the standard of those respective sports would have gone up much higher.”
It is my firm belief that contests for honorary posts in sports bodies are detrimental to the development of the sport, given that development requires teamwork and contests only serve to divide people in to separate factions. Until now, rugby has been free of this ‘factiionlization’ and I do not wish to be party to dividing the rugby fraternity of this country.
In addition an honorary post gives no reward or benefit other than for personal satisfaction for a job well done and hence, contesting for such a post remains questionable in motive, especially if I resorted to the usual practice of using political influence, state machinations, intimidation etc. to achieve this end.
Having represented my country in rugby at the highest level, with the rare distinction of being one of two players from this country in the history of the game to have represented a World XV, I would rather the rugby fraternity of this country remember me for my contributions to the game, than for the dubious distinction of being one of the first people to contest for the post of President.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the Provinces and individuals who supported steadfastly my nomination to the Presidency as ‘doing the right thing’, and not being undone by outside influence.
I take this opportunity to wish the new President and his team good luck in their new roles and hope that they will continue with developing the game and take it to the next level.
May rugby be the winner, always!