Will it be Nimal Lewke or Michael Jayasekera?
RUGBY: Come January 6 and the outcome will be known to all.
This is the day when the election of office-bearers to the Sri Lanka
Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) are to be elected.
Who will be the President of the SLRFU? This is the important
question on the lips of most of rugby enthusiasts - not only club
It has been the tradition that the Deputy President takes over the
reins from the incumbent. This has been the practice right along from
the inception of the then Ceylon Rugby Football Union (CRFU).
The current President is former St. Anthony's College, CR & FC, CH &
FC, Kandy Sports Club and Sri Lanka second-rower, Priyantha Ekanayake,
who completes his two-year term in office.
His deputy is Michael Jayasekera, the former crack centre
three-quarter hailing from S. Thomas' College (Mount Lavinia) who later
turned out with distinction for Havelocks and Sri Lanka too.
However, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Nimal Lewke, who
is the Commandant of the elite Special Task Force (STF), is contesting
Jayasekera for the top post of President of the SLRFU.
Lewke has been a player/administrator of the sport for over 25 years.
He received his education at St. Sylvester's College (Kandy) and later
turned out for both Kandy Sports Club and Police as a dynamic flanker
who also went out to represent the country. He was the coach of Kandy SC
when they emerged triple champions for three consecutive years. Lewke is
also a former national coach who also headed the influential Western
The battle hardened Lewke said that there is nothing wrong in
contesting at an election. It's a democratic right of any individual he
says and that it's "good for the game". This former national Boxing
champion (he was a terrific southpaw) says that he has nothing personal
with Jayasekera, and its not going to harm the game. He is determined to
expose Sri Lankan players to international tournaments from a young age
and try to help them financially to remain in the game.
Lewke is determined to send a couple of coaches to New Zealand for
7's coaching to learn new techniques who has close links to the Kiwis
and even to have a properly qualified Sri Lankan to coach the national
He is also determined to get annual scholarships for about five
players to play overseas and train too.
Jayasekera says that he is ready to face the challenge from Lewke,
and his aim is to get Sri Lanka to the top three countries in Asia. He
wants to develop the game at grass root level and have more teams
featured in the 'A' Division. Jayasekera continued to say that he is
determined to get a coach from either New Zealand or Australia and have
"full time" professional players.
There are 47 votes available at the annual general meeting. Already,
the Central Province RFU (10 votes) and Western Province RFU (8 votes)
have indicated that they are behind DIG Nimal Lewke. Michael Jayasekera
has been assured of the votes from Southern Province RFU (10 votes),
Sabaragamuwa RFU (4 votes) and North Western Province RFU (1 vote). Yet
undecided on whom to support are Uva Province RFU (8 votes), North
Central Province RFU (4 votes) and Sri Lanka School RFA (2 votes).
Whom will it be on January 6? Will it be Michael Jayasekera or DIG
Nimal Lewke? It will be very interesting to see the final verdict.