Constitution of the National Olympic Committee under the spotlight

Constitution of the National Olympic Committee under the spotlight

Written by News 1st

02 Dec, 2013 | 8:26 am

On Thursday, representatives including the Minister of Sports appeared before the International Olympic Committee, following a complaint lodged by the Chairman of the Olympic Committee.

As per the media release containing the agreements reached at this meeting, not only should the Constitution of the National Olympic Committee be amended in accordance with the Olympic Charter, but the Sports Act, enacted in 1973 should also be amended within nine months.

The release also notes that an agreement was reached to postpone the election of the National Olympic Committee until its constitution is amended.

However, Attorney-at-Law Dr Prathiba Mahanamahewa says that this agreement will serve to take the crisis in sport to a new direction.

He notes that if the election of the National Olympic Committee is to be held under amended sports laws then elections for all Sports Associations which come under its purview will also have to be re-held.

“If we have signed or accepted an international charter then we cannot act in an ad-hoc fashion outside of it. The internationally accepted traditions that new laws should be prepared and introduced with the intention of upholding democracy and not with the intention of moving towards a dictatorship.”

However, the Minister of Sports says that they did not reach any agreement regarding holding fresh elections for sports associations.

The Minister notes that the representatives only agreed to amend the laws requiring the Director General of Sports to participate in the Executive Committee of the National Olympic Committee.

The Vice-President of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka, Sunil Jayaweera says that the convening of the representatives of the Ministry of Sports to Lausanne in Switzerland, was more a result of the private desires of the National Olympic Committee than a matter of national importance.

He charges that making clarifications regarding a law passed in Parliament, internationally is akin to belittling the position of parliament.

Sunil Jayaweera points out that in order to protect the independence of the Sports Association, new regulations for Sports Associations should be amended.

Nevertheless, the President of the Western Province Badminton Association, L.R. Ariyananda questions as to whether there is any mistake in lodging complaints abroad when justice is not served at home.

When the Ministry of Sports and the National Olympic Committee give priority to personal aspirations, will this not result in the destruction of Sport in the country?

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