Sports Ministry ruling proves Wrestling Association illegal

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By 2018-02-14

A fresh controversy leading up to the National Olympic Committee AGM has come to light, where at an inquiry conducted by the Sports Ministry it clearly indicated that the appointment of Prageeth Perera as the President of the National Wrestling Association is illegal.

Perera and Chaminda Mallawarachchi were elected President and Secretary of the National Wrestling Association. They were nominated for the posts by the Colombo District Wrestling Federation.

However, an inquiry into the controversial election of the Colombo District election held in May last year revealed that Perera and Mallawarachchi were guilty of forgery and manipulation and the Inquiry Committee appointed by the Director General of Sports, Saman Bandara, ruled the election of the Colombo District Wrestling Association null and void and asked them to hold fresh elections on 3 January, whereas it was held on 18 January.

The inquiry revealed that Perera and Mallawarachchi had not informed five of the six Member Associations of the Colombo District Wrestling Association regarding the district election, where they had forged the signatures of officer bearers of the said five Associations to prepare illegal documents to present themselves as the President and Secretary of the Colombo District Association and nominated themselves for the National Association in June last year.

The legitimate President and Secretary of the Colombo District Wrestling Association who were elected on 18 January state that as per the ministry ruling the 2017 May election of the Association had been declared null and void and therefore, Perera and Mallawarachchi are not eligible to hold office at the National Association.

The concerned Member Associations had lodged a complaint just after the ruling in May, but the official who was appointed to conduct the inquiry from the Department of Sports Development had delayed the inquiry for a couple of months, thereby indirectly helping Perera and Mallawarachchi to get elected to the National Association illegally.

Ceylon Today learns that the DG had to appoint a different officer to the inquiry panel to get the inquiry concluded in January 2018, which clearly ruled the district election null and void.

With the National Olympic Committee election set to be held on 23 February, Perera has been nominated as the voting member on behalf of the Wrestling Association, while legitimate Colombo District Association states that Perera's vote is illegal and it will be great injustice to the field of sports if his vote carries weight to elect new officer bearers, as he is a proven tainted official at the moment.

(AK)

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