Judo election marred by claims of favouritism and ineligibility | Sunday Observer

Judo election marred by claims of favouritism and ineligibility

9 February, 2020
 Major Tharindu Weerasinghe
Major Tharindu Weerasinghe

The annual general meeting of the Sri Lanka Judo Federation is scheduled for February 21 but one of the candidates for the president’s post, Major Tharindu Weerasinghe, slammed the election committee alleging it was biased towards his opponent.

Weerasinghe who represents Weerapuran Appu Judo Club filed an objection against Dr. RT Dahanayake the other candidate.

“I objected to Dr. RT Dahanayake’s application as he has not submitted proper certificates as required. As per the Sports Law a candidate should have participated at two national events in the singles or group event or have represented Sri Lanka at least once,” said Weerasinghe

Weerasinghe said that Dahanayake had only participated in one national event and later handed over a second certificate on the day reserved for objections to claim he met the criteria of participating in two national events after the closing date to hand over nominations.

He said submitting any proof after nominations closed was also a violation of the election rules.

“Another candidate who is contesting the chairman’s post in the referees’ committee stands banned by the Sri Lanka Judo Federation for deserting the Sri Lanka camp during an event held in Japan. His nomination was also accepted by the elections committee despite proof of his actions,” charged Weerasinghe.

It is also reported that another candidate for the vice presidency who was sacked by his previous club the YMCA Judo Club due to an alleged financial fraud, has also submitted his papers to contest the election.

“We are planning to meet the Minister of Sports to explain the situation and ask him to take the necessary action,” said Weerasinghe.

The elections committee comprises of veteran sports administrator Sunil Jayaweera (chairman), Chandrani Pathiraja and Olivia Gamage.

Asked to comment on the issue, Jayaweera did not say anything contrary to the eligibility of Dahanayake other than objections made against some candidates.

“Only one person has made so many objections against the nominees that a few contestants have not given their bio data along with nominations, but according to the Sports law the bio data should be submitted within the period of the election,” said Sunil Jayaweera.

“No valid proof was given about the contestant who deserted the camp during the Games in Japan. Whoever wins the election need to work together for the betterment of the sport,” said Jayaweera.

The Judo Federation is currently under a government run Interim Committee since 2015 following allegations of financial malpractices.