Athletics on the wrong track
By S.R. Pathiravithana
The vice president and the immediate past president of the Amateur Athletics Association Sunil Jayaweera reacted strongly at the restraining order issued by the Colombo District Court against them.

The angry vice president said: "If Dervin Perera's clique loves the sport so much why do they want to get a restraining order and disrupt the progress of athletics in this country? By this act they have brought athletics in this country to a complete halt.

There are three grand prix events in June - World Championships in Finland in August, and the Asian Championships in Korea in September. The pool for all these meets were to be picked by June 4 but, with this twist of events everything has come to a grinding halt. Besides that the World Athletics Day is scheduled for May 7 and 8 at the Sugathadasa Stadium where the Heptathlon and Decathlon events were also to be held. Then the Junior Nationals were also scheduled for June 14, 15 and 16. So if this court case takes one year to be settled our athletes will have to wait for one year without activity".

Sunil Jayaweera further said "We still have not received official information on the order or do we know even who the respondents are, what we all know is what we have read in the news papers. How can they say that elections were rigged as the counting officers from the Air Force and the Army were selected by them. The protem chairman Ranjith Weerasena was also selected by them. Then once the first counting was over we gave a recount too. I don't know why they have taken this stance".

Minister Janaka Bandara Tennekone was elected president of the AASL by two votes over his contender Dervin Perera at the last election. The latter who called the election rigged sought legal means. Now the court has ordered the elected committee to appear in court on April 29.

In the aftermath of the election minister Jeevan Kumaratunge also wanted to get into action by calling the two feuding parties to settle their differences for the betterment of the sport. However the minister could not get down to the job with the holiday season coming in between. It is also to be noted that the governing body for athletics in the world, IAF, does not recognise interim bodies.


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