The NOCSL conundrum turned another phase when a letter with twenty international and national sports personnel that carried seventeen signatures was sent to the IOC Director Relations Pere Miro claiming that the NOCSL Athletic Commission was duly elected. It was only last week that the Sunday Times came up with the story on the election [...]


Members of the Athletic Committee make a show of strength with 18 signatories


The NOCSL conundrum turned another phase when a letter with twenty international and national sports personnel that carried seventeen signatures was sent to the IOC Director Relations Pere Miro claiming that the NOCSL Athletic Commission was duly elected.

It was only last week that the Sunday Times came up with the story on the election of the members of the NOCSL Athletic Commission with shuttler Niluka Karunaratne as its head while Olympic swimmer Reshika Udugampola elected as its secretary.

The other members of the commission were Nuwan Dharmawardena, Ishara Madurangi and Chamari Mendis Warnakulasuriya.

In the same vein we also carried that there was a letter sent to the IOC with five signatures opposing this move.

The Chairman of the committee Niluka Karunaratne who is overseas at present could not place his signature on the document.  Dinesha Perera and S.S. Priyankara from the Hockey Federation had not placed their signatures because they were in Kandy.

The following are the two letters: 

24th January 2018 

To: Mr. Pere Miro, Director Relations, IOC

Captain Husain, OCA

A meeting to form the Athlete Commission was held on 17th January 2018 at the auditorium of the “Olympic House” at 05.00p.m. After the meeting was adjourned, the selected members of the Athlete Commission elected 2 members as the representatives for General Assembly and 1 member as representative of Executive Committee along with a chairman for the commission.

Mr. S. Ranugge, who is a former Secretary to the Ministry of Sports, conducted the meeting and was welcomed by the Secretary General of the NOCSL. The Secretary General informed the House that nominations were called for the Athlete Commission from the National Federations (NFs) by the deadline of 15th January 2018. Accordingly, the NFs were informed that the Athlete Commission is composed of 3 Olympians, who have participated at least at the last three editions of Olympics and 2 non-Olympians.

As per the above criteria, the nominations were received and the National Federations had the freedom to apply until 15th January 2018 Mid Night.

However, the nomination of Mr. Sumedha Ranasinghe, who represented in RIO 2016 Olympic Games, from Sri Lanka Athletics Federation, was received on 16th January 2018 by then the nomination deadline had already passed and therefore, was rejected. Although there was an objection from the Shooting Federation, Mr. Sumedha Ranasinghe himself did not object for the above statement.

As there were only 3 nominations received for Olympians, they were elected uncontested. Therefore, the elections of the other two members were conducted by Mr. S. Ranugge from there onwards. Accordingly, the two representatives were elected from Table Tennis and Weightlifting.

We are pleased for the diplomatic way the meeting was conducted and hereby writing to confirm you that the Athlete Commission will do the best for sport of the country.

Ms Reshika Udugampola, Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union, Mr. R. C. Nuwan Dharmawardhana, Sri Lanka Judo Association, Mr. Niluka Karunarathne, Sri Lanka Badminton Association, Ms. M.B. Ishara Madurangi Darshika, Table Tennis Association of Sri Lanka, W. Chamari Mendis Wanakulasuriya, Sri Lanka Weightlifting Federation, Ms. Thilini Promodika Hendahewa, Sri Lanka Badminton Association, Mr. Rohan Sirisena, Table Tennis Association of Sri Lanka, Mr. Sudesh Peiris, Sri Lanka Weightlifting Federation, Ms. K.D. Samithri Maleesha Perera, National Roller Skating Association of Sri Lanka, Mr. N.G. Dulshan Sachithra, National Roller Skating Association of Sri Lanka, Ms. D.P.B.D. Kumari, Sri Lanka Karate-do Federation, Mr. W.M.P. Sandaruwan, Sri Lanka Karate-do Federation Mr. H.S. Buddhika, Wrestling Federation of Sri Lanka Ms. W.M.D.J.K. Weerabahu, Wrestling Federation of Sri Lanka Ms. Tanuja Dilrukshi Weerakkody, Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union, Ms. Dinesha Perera, Sri Lanka Hockey Federation, Mr. S.S. Priyalanka, Sri Lanka Hockey Federation, Ms. LWNN Abeyrathna, Handball Federation of Sri Lanka, D.B.M. Thalagala Basketball Federation of Sri Lanka, R.R.S. Fernando Basketball Federation of Sri Lanka and R. Rajapakse of the Sri Lanka Tennis Association.

cc: Mr Jerome Poivey, Director, International Relations IOC


This was the letter sent to the IOC by the opposing faction. 

18 January 2018

To: Mr Pere Miro, Director Relations IOC

Subject: Appeal against the Violation of the IOC Guidelines in Constitution of the Athletes commission of the National Olympic committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL)

We the undersigned, who are participants at the national and international levels in Sports on the Olympic Programme, do hereby wish to lodge an appeal against the violation of the IOC Guidelines, as also, the “Olympic Charter ” in constituting the Athletes Commission of the NOCSL and wish to place before you the following for your kind consideration and URGENT and necessary action, They are outlined as follows;

1.   A meeting was called on the 17 January 2018 by the NOCSL for the elections of the Members to the NOCSL Athletes Commission,

2.   The meeting which was called on 17 January 2018 to elect the members of the Athletes Commission should have commenced with the election of a Chair by the members present by his or her peers, in order to conduct the meeting, this was not done. But, instead, an outsider, one Mr Rannuge was made to conduct the meeting, without prior intimation to the Athletes or the member federations of the NOCSL of his appointment.

3.   There are only 5 Athletes in Sri Lanka who have taken part in a Sports of the Olympics Programme in at least one of the last three editions of the Olympic Games. Mr Sumedha Ranasinghe from the Sri Lanka Athletics Federation is one of them. He represented the country at the 2016 RIO Olympic Games and is one of the rare five athletes in the country who have qualified for such honour. Yet, his right to be elected to the Athletes Commission was deprived, on the basis that his nomination form to contest the elections was received only a few hours after the closing date of 15 January 2018,a date unilaterally decided upon by the Secretary General of the NOCSL, although Mr Ranasinghe’s name had been already sent much earlier and had been registered with the NOCSL as an eligible member for election to the Athletes Commission. Furthermore, not all sports federations had received the form prepared by the NOCSL, calling for names to be sent as applicants for elections.

4.   It is our contention that as per the IOC Guidelines, the majority of the Athletes Commission shall be elected by their peers. The Athletes nominated by their respective federations, whose names have been sent and registered at the NOCSL shall be taken into consideration for elections at a full assembly. It must not be restricted to any prior unilateral decisions taken by the Secretary General of the NOCSL, who has imposed an application form and a date limit for nomination of athletes who shall contest. It is the right of all Athletes present at the first ever meeting to have their voices heard and to decide on the process of nominations to the Athletes Commission to contest elections and to decide on the procedures for elections, given that it is their own Commission and they should have the freedom of expression, choice and decision. This has not been done and their independence of association and the right to be heard have thus been violated. And on a previous occasion too, the Secretary General acting unilaterally allowed the formation of an Athletes Commission without informing all Sports Federations and then only informed the last General Assembly held on 9 November 2017 of its formation as a “fait accompli” although at that time, the General Assembly had not even approved the institution of an Athletes Commission. It is because of this violation of procedure that another meeting of the newly instituted Athletes Commission was convened on 17 January 2018 in order to elect its representatives.

5.   The aforementioned unilateral decisions of the Secretary General of the NOCSL by imposing his will on the Athletes Commission has also violated the values of good example, social responsibility and respect for the universal fundamental ethical principle as espoused in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism.

Therefore, the undersigned Athletes involved in the Olympics Movement in Sri Lanka, do hereby appeal to you as the custodian of the sacred “Olympic Charter” to please intervene on our behalf to reverse this flawed procedure and violation of the IOC Guidelines as also, the values enshrined in the “Olympic Charter” and to have the process of elections to the Athletes Commission carried out as per the procedure outlined above/with the involvement of an independent commission.

D I G Gamini Walgama, Sri Lanka Shooting Federation, Mr Sumedha Ranasinghe Sri Lanka Athletics Federation, Ms Anusha Kodituwakku, Sri Lanka Boxing Federation, Ms Dehara Wijesekera, Sri Lanka Rowing Federation, Mr Hashan Hettigoda,  Sri Lanka Rowing Federation.


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