Undercurrents drown swimming election | Sunday Observer

Undercurrents drown swimming election

Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha has ordered the postponement of a much due election of office-bearers to the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) after it was revealed a former controversial head Mahinda Liyanage was to contest the post of presidency.

Swimming is currently under the Sports Ministry ahead of a possible Interim Committee to be set up.

Liyanage held the top post at SLASU for one year until it was discovered he was in violation of its Constitution which declares a coach cannot run for office.

But Liyanage has also said he will not submit his nomination to contest office at SLASU.

Director General of Sports Buwaneka Herath has already informed SLASU of the Minister’s ruling to have the election postponed.

Meanwhile in another development swimming officials told the Sunday Observer that they would like to know what happened to a sum of Rs.80 million that they claim was in the account of SLASU at a time when Liyanage was elected to the top post in 2017.

“Eighty million is a lot of money that can be used for the development of swimming and during this period there was no development activities and we want to know what happened to the money. The Minister should conduct another inquiry into this matter”, an official said.

Former secretary of SLASU Migara Gunatilleke claimed that there was Rs.80 million available when the Committee handed the reins over to Liyanage and the new set of office-bearers in 2017.

“During my tenure I minimized the expenditure and all the documentation was handled by me and we were able to save a lot of money”, Gunatilleke claimed.

The SLASU election was put on hold after the Minister of Sports and the Department of Sports Development received several complaints regarding the nominees including that of Liyanage who was seeking re-election.

Should Minister Musthapha appoint the Interim Committee, it is likely to comprise of S.A. Sathkumara (Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Sports), Air Marshal Elmo Perera, national water polo player Ashe Fernando and Rear Admiral GLS Gunasekara who was a former President of SLAU.