The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Director – Education Dept. wants more reports on Isipathana-Vidyartha case


In a new twist of events relating to the complaint made by Isipathana College against Vidyartha College for allegedly fielding ineligible rugby players in their Under-20 League Rugby match, the matter has reached the Director General of Sports of the Ministry of Education. Rohana Karunaratne, the Director General of Sports of the Ministry of Education has sought a comprehensive report on the related incident including supporting documents from the secretary of Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA), to conduct an inquiry. He confirmed that an inquiry is impending.

“Yes, we have got a complaint with regard to this matter and we cannot conduct an inquiry or come to a conclusion taking allegations or suspicions into account. We must have both sides of the story to give a fair verdict. I have asked the secretary of SLSRFA to hand us a detailed report on this including all documents subjected to this matter. We hope to conduct a proper inquiry by Monday (16) or Tuesday (17) the latest,” Rohana Karunathilake, the Director General of Sports said.

According to information, those responsible for the complaint had claimed that the documentation is correct but the player on the field is not RMS Bandara whose name is on the team list bearing the schools identity card number and admission number of 3528 and 15115 and the birth date of April 7, 1993.

However they say they are in possession of a copy of a national identity card bearing number 922332525v dated February 10, 2009, where the photograph is very similar to that of RMS Bandara whose name is included in the team list. The details in the national identity card is different and the birth date is August 20, 1992 and the details correspond to another Bandara who was in the team in 2011 and is in a team photograph published in a national newspaper on July 15, 2011. They allege that the player was a transfer from another school and is not eligible on account of age.

Isipathana ended up as the runners-up of the league after they drew match against Vidyartha

Earlier the secretary of SLSRFA has informed the principal of Isipathana a by a letter dated July 11, 2012 that the inquiry with regard to the players of Vidyartha has been completed and that there are no issues as regards to their identity. The letter refers to two letters sent by Isipathana, dated June 19 and June 25 of 2012 says that the inquiry was based on the contents of the letters. The secretary further states that the president of the SLSRFA, Ranjith Chandrasekera chaired the meeting and has informed him that there are no issues of identity. It is also stated that the full report will be presented to the executive committee on the July 17.

Reliable sources from Isipathana say that they are not satisfied with the decision and have lodged a letter with the Director of Education. They base their rejection on the grounds that they were not given an opportunity to present evidence to support what they have stated in the letter. When the president of the SLSRFA was contacted, he indicated that there was no need for any further documentation as the schools identity card photograph tallies with the snapshots of the player on field. “We also checked the authenticity of the birth certificates and other identification documents as complained by Isipathana from the relevant government institutions. But there were nothing wrong,” Chandrasekera said.

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