Vijitha Fernando ex-crusader against corruption no more | Sunday Observer

Vijitha Fernando ex-crusader against corruption no more

20 November, 2022

Vijitha Fernando, the former president of swimming known as the National Amateur Aquatic Sports Union (NAASU), passed away early this week.

Fernando was an outspoken and firebrand critic of corrupted sports officials in nearly every sports controlling body and hailed from a stock that brooked no nonsense.

He belonged to the old school and also served as the secretary of the swimming association when Dudley Senanayake the former Prime Minister headed the swimming body in the 1960s.

Fernando was well versed in Olympic affairs that made him second to none in expertise, statistics, history and achievements and even spent his own funds at a time when the swimming controlling body had to go to the higher-ups with the begging bowl.

He was also an award winning newspaper columnist from the year 2000 for a considerable period of time that exposed corruption and injustice in the selection of athletes to represent the country.

For his media work he was on two occasions the recipient of Editors’ Guild awards.

He was one of the pioneers in the Duncan White Sports Foundation along with other elite personalities in the likes of Ken Balendra, Jennifer Moragoda and Kavan Rambukwella and presented the Foundation’s first award to Susanthika Jayasinghe.

As a retired World Bank employee who served in New York and in Africa, he spent the last years of his life in the comforts of his home at Horton Place in Colombo 7, but was always in touch with the sports set-up in the country.

He was married to Sarala Fernando, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York.