Tough amendments to the Constitution must be made - Dr. Maiya | Sunday Observer

Tough amendments to the Constitution must be made - Dr. Maiya

Dr. Maiya Gunasekera
Dr. Maiya Gunasekera

Rues Kandy rebels got away after boycotting Clifford Cup:

With Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) to conduct their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on August 3 they must take a tough decision to make certain amendments to the Constitution that has been recommended by former president Dr. Maiya Gunasekera who spoke to the Sunday Observer.

Dr. Gunasekera, a former Sri Lanka third row player, said that all teams that are participating in tournaments conducted by the controlling body should permit their players to represent the national team if selected.

“Players from any club should not be allowed to keep away from attending practices and representing the national team. If anyone keeps away then that player should be banned from playing in local tournaments for two years,” said Dr. Gunasekera.

“These rules should be included in the Constitution of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) to ensure that no player can be above the law. With the general meeting coming shortly the opportunity should be taken to include these laws in the Constitution so that rugby won’t suffer,” added Dr. Gunasekera.

He also stressed that no team should be allowed to disagree with the rules governing a tournament and must abide by these rules. If any team does not agree with these rules then that team should be banned for two years.

“If any team does not abide by the tournament rules that team should be suspended for a period of two years. If they do not want to follow rules then they should conduct their own tournaments,” opined Dr. Gunasekera.

“When Kandy SC withdrew their team from the Clifford Cup Knock-out tournament by refusing to play at a neutral venue no disciplinary action was taken on them.

Now some of the players are not prepared to play for the national team through fear of becoming injured and that they would not be able to play for the club and won’t get paid. This is ridiculous,” said Dr. Gunasekera.

“When we were playing, we were clamouring to play for the country because that gave us some pride to don the national jersey. It is our national agenda and responsibility, otherwise you can’t make a country,” stressed Gunasekera.

Dr. Gunasekera said that Sri Lanka Rugby should summon all clubs and conduct a thorough workshop and document it on the consequences they will face if they ignore the regulations set by SLR. “The main idea of conducting tournaments is to select players for the national team. If you are not going to make use of that opportunity and not play for the national team, you are basically depriving someone else of that slot,” he charged.

Dr. Gunasekera is a veteran rugby administrator and has handled situations like this with admiration. He has spoken out for the well being and development of rugby in Sri Lanka that has gained some recognition around Asian countries in recently times.