Sri Lanka hockey in a mess | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka hockey in a mess

26 May, 2019

Mercantile Hockey Association president Manjula Jayamanne slammed the election committee appointed by the Sports Ministry for allowing district clubs that did not functioned for several years to vote at their recent AGM.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer, Jayamanna said that as a first step they will be seeking an enjoining order against the Committee for accommodating what he called were non-functional clubs.

“We have protested that Matara and Ratnapura associations had been accommodated to vote and these two have been inactive sleeping clubs that were given a right to vote,” said Jayamanne.

He claimed the majority of the voting clubs were opposed to Sumith Edirisinghe the former head of the Hockey Federation.

The Sri Lanka Hockey Federation was dissolved in 2015 and the elections were to be held on May 15 the same year.

Consequently, the Ministry of Sports intervened and called for nominations for elections from all the sports federations that have failed to conduct their AGMs according to the prevailing Sports Law.

The new AGM of the SLHF was scheduled for July 28, 2015 and the nominations were called on June 4, 2015 which closed on June 26 that same year.

Sumith Edirisinghe (ex-president of the Sri Lanka Hockey Federation) failed to submit their nominations. It was only one party that submitted nominations on which the Ministry of Sports issued a letter including the names of those who were to be elected uncontested at the scheduled election on July 28, 2015.

On July 15, 2015 Sumith Edirisinghe initiated a court case and obtained an injunction order against the election. The court gave a ruling to the Director General, Department of Sports Development of the Ministry of Sports, making him the Competent Authority to continue hockey activities in the country.

Since then, all hockey activities and the international representation of Sri Lanka in the game was handled by the Ministry of Sports and the entire funding was also done by the Ministry of Sports.

But Sumith Edirisinghe was representing the country at all Asian Hockey Federation and FIH meetings.

The Sri Lanka Hockey Federation was dissolved on March 31, 2015 and its ex-president Sumith Edirisinghe was not eligible to represent the SLHF at the NOC or at any meetings of the AHF and FIH.

The Hockey Federation was suspended by an Extra Ordinary Gazette (2053/7 of 8th January 2018) and yet Sumith Edirisighe continued representing the country at FIH & AHF meetings.