Parliamentarians debate on Olympic Committee and ‘sports mafias’

Parliamentarians debate on Olympic Committee and ‘sports mafias’

Written by Bella Dalima

15 Dec, 2013 | 12:25 am

The Expenditure Head of the Ministry of Sports was approved in Parliament on Saturday.

The issue surrounding the National Olympic Committee was keenly debated in parliament ..Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Dilan Perera shared these views in Parliament;

“I request that the National Olympic Committee be brought before the COPE committee and an investigation be conducted. There are both government and opposition members in it, the International Olympic Committee may have issued a ruling, however the Parliament is supreme. Just like the Cricket Board was investigated we should investigate them and create the background for the people of this country to find out the truth.”

DNA Parliamentarian, Arjuna Ranatunga shared these thoughts today;

“There are three sports mafias  – one is the Olympic Committee mafia, second is the Cricket mafia, third is the Football mafia. There is also corruption in the Sports Development Department within the Ministry of Sports. Many ministers bowed down to this mafia for various perks and this has lead to the destruction of sports. The Olympic Committee is being run by the same group of people. Hemasiri Fernando becomes the Chairman while someone else becomes the secretary. They never lose their positions. The Olympic Committee receives large amounts of funds from overseas. Up-to date these officials are reluctant to reveal their accounts to us.”

Meanwhile, UNP Parliamentarian Nalin Bandara too shared his views in Parliament;

“According to what he have heard, these officials have complained to the President that they would be imprisoned if they remain in the ministry and that they also risk loosing their pensions. They have requested that they be removed from this ministry. The Director General of Sports has taken all the powers into her hands and is carrying out activities surpassing the actions ministerial secretaries. The secretaries are also facing issues due to this.”

Minister of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage also expressed his views on sports mafia;

“There was a mafia in sports, I was able to root it out. Over the recent past several big names in sports were displaced. People invited me to take over sports. I had to amend the sports act as well. There are protests against me because of an audit of the Olympic Committee. Sports has become a major force in the economies of developed nations. We are working with the government to create a sports economy. We were able to contribute 50 million US dollars last year, our target is 500 million us dollars by 2015.”

UPFA Parliamentarian, Thilanga Sumathipala had these views to share in Parliament;

“We should be happy that nearly three billion has been allocated for sports. In the past, Colombo received good facilities while rural areas did not. Now it is the other-way around. The Ministry of Sports is not developing facilities in our areas believing that these areas are rich.”


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