Sri Lanka Thai-boxing chief picks his favourites for tour | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Thai-boxing chief picks his favourites for tour

18 August, 2019

Thai boxing in Sri Lanka that comes under the banner of the Muaythai Association of Sri Lanka (MASL) has sent athletes to the East Asian Muaythai championship to be held in Hong Kong without the approval of the Ministry of Sports, the Sunday Observer learns.

The head of the MASL is Asoka Jayaratne who authorised the tour.

An official alleged that there was bias when selecting the team and a few veterans from the Army have made complaints regarding the tour to the Ministry of Sports. An investigation was carried out under its Director General, but without any conclusions by the investigation team.

The official who requested that he not be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media said that the current president Jayaratne was attached to the Navy as their head coach and hence his omission of Thai boxers from the Army. “How can he hold the coach’s position while at the same time being the president of the MASL.This is against the Sports Law.

The selection committee picked most of the Navy athletes for the Asian championship but it was the Army athletes who won most of their events in the recently concluded National Muaythai championships.

This kind of action revealed that Asoka Jayaratne purposely picked his favourite players for the tour.

“HP Wickramasinghe (45kg-48kg), GMN Bandara (51kg-54kg), D. Sridaran (54kg-57kg), SHL Senaratne (57kg-60kg) were the Army athletes who won in their respective events but Jayaratne picked athletes who never participated or won their events. This is an injustice for the athletes who won at the Nationals,” said one athlete.

“This is a shameful act by the MASL. Asoka Jayaratne has included his officials who were sticking with the association because of their greed to hold on to positions and go on foreign tours. Genuine athletes were suffering even after winning at the national championship which was considered as a trial for the East Asian Muaythai championship,” said another.