The first nail screwed in
Machiavelli in one of his writings in 1526 just prior to his death said "for as long as I can remember war has been carried out or has been reasoned about. Now it has been reasoned out and in a little while it will be carried out and when it is ended, it will be reasoned about anew, so that there will be little time to think about anything ."

This seemed familiar to me as I substituted the war to the Rugby Interim Committee. This was as I started to get my thoughts together to pen the column for this week. I was reminded about the elusive Special General Meeting that was to be held on the 29th I thought of the above saying of Machiavelli. Please don't get the impression that I am equating this set to be gifted with the cunning philosophy of Machiavelli.
Will this game be the same ever again?

As they took office it was statements about the then council followed with the referees and again to the council. Otherwise it was another issue of either selections or castigating the behavior of some other. This kept a year going and now, sorry, it should be during the same period it was something or other with the constitution. Not to mention the skirmish with the world governing body.

At the end of it all the spectator and the players cannot help but be struck by the rude health of what is being served as rugby and the political infighting in the backrooms. Behind the scene a battle was on as the Interim kept its war with the former council and referees. It now appears that a new flank is being opened as disagreement can be seen with the Provincial Unions. This filters down to the clubs who are telling Provincial Unions not to accept what is proposed and possibly hinting of deceit. It seems that the war may go on except the hope being that the possibility of the IRB cutting us off being a deterrent.
We start from a position where amendments were presented to a special general meeting in June 2009. We now have a constitution draft that has been further amended as claimed by the provincial unions. They question as to how what was approved has been changed and by whom?

The question that was asked by the stakeholders is whether the sports law in any of its sections says that the Ministry or the Interim can present a constitution. Another issue in point is whether these are amendments to the constitution as there seem to be no reference to the original and the text of what is being proposed. The draft presented takes the form of a new constitution and is somewhat of a cut and paste job. This seems to be a new constitution which as it appears does not get the nod of the stakeholders.

The Western Province which has all "A" Division clubs other than Kandy Sports Club met recently to discuss the amendments. The consensus was that the Annual General meeting should be held as planned by end February and the amendments to the constitution be addressed by the new council. A very sound argument and a logical one since it will be the new council that will be tasked with taking the game forward. Mind you this comes from the Province that stands most to benefit with the voting system as they have all A division clubs less one. It was the heads or the representatives of these A division clubs that decided on the future course of action.

It came out in the c course of discussions that the purported letter of approval by the Attorney General has not been seen as it has not been sent o the stakeholders. I do really wonder, whether the shoddy piece of a constitution with inconsistencies, grammatical and spelling errors could have passed the scrutiny of the Attorney General. Read carefully and you may need an SGM more often than not as some key clauses are inconsistent and long winding paragraphs may pose problems of interpretation. A funny situation is that even if you have represented the country having played only "B" division rugby due to circumstances will prevent you from being in the council.

The Special general meeting held on the29th became a cropper due to a lack of quorum. It seems the constituent bodies have not taken the SGM seriously. Otherwise why would they not take time to come and present their views at such an important occasion? Because as alleged it is not what you agreed that has gone to print. Then why waste time as they would tend to believe that the Interim will want to finally have the last say. On the other hand you are inviting the constituent bodies to drive the nail to their own coffin.

The questions that I have now as I said last week, will this lead to another foxy situation with the AGM not being held. The war here was to have the AGM while others are now reasoning about. This paves the way for another war and for life to go on.

Let rugby live to fight another day.

Vimal Perera is a former Rugby Referee, coach and Accredited Referees Evaluator IRB
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