NOC hustings: Subramaniam defender, Fernando challenger | Sunday Observer

NOC hustings: Subramaniam defender, Fernando challenger

26 December, 2021
Suresh Subramaniam-Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando
Suresh Subramaniam-Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando

Two candidates are vying for the top post in the National Olympic Committee (NOC) at the election on December 28 with incumbent president Suresh Subramaniam and president of Sri Lanka Athletics Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando in the running.

There will be a total of 12 posts to be contested. They are; President (1), Vice-President (4), Secretary General (1), Assistant Secretary (1), Treasurer (1), Assistant Treasurer (1) and three members to the executive committee.

The Subramaniam team consists of candidates from 12 different associations that is expected to give him the advantage while Palitha Fernando’s team consists of candidates from only six associations.

Subramaniam has completed the first four year term and said that he has done the right things so far. He said that he has made a profit of Rs. 19 million and has over Rs. 100 million in deposit.

“Unlike in the past the NOC has not cut the salaries of their employees. We have spent lots of money on athletes of various sports to raise their standards to international level. This is done to have them ready for international events from 2022 to 2024.

“The previous administration had failed to raise the standard of young athletes to win medals at international level,” said Subramaniam.

“It was only after 2018 that the NOC had submitted audited reports and the auditors have not found any corruption taking place. This is how clean I ran the NOC with the other officials,” claimed Subramaniam.

But Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando had very little to say about his criteria during the election or his chances of winning the race.

“I want to first run the affairs in a clean manner for the first year before looking into other matters affiliated with the NOC. I am also 100 per cent confident of winning,” said Fernando.

Subramaniam is a former president of the Sri Lanka Tennis Association and it was under his tenor that he introduced wheelchair tennis that enabled battled scarred Servicemen to indulge in the sport. He has also played tennis at Royal College and later at the SLTA for a long period of time.

Fernando is an old boy of Sri Sumangala College Panadura and participated in the 400 and 800 metres events at public schools meets. Later, in 1970 he represented the Ceylon schools in the Indo-Ceylon athletic meet.

After joining the Army, he continued to run and in 1975 the Army 4X800 metre relay team established the Sri Lanka record in which he was a member.