Sri Lankan escapes through washroom, two ‘elope’ at common syndrome | Sunday Observer

Sri Lankan escapes through washroom, two ‘elope’ at common syndrome

6 August, 2022
While Sri Lankan athletes and officials were exposing the country to disgrace and ridicule by decamping,100 metres sprinter Yupun Abeykoon (left) and Discuss thrower Palitha Bandara (right) kept the flag flying by winning Bronz and Silver respectively at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham
While Sri Lankan athletes and officials were exposing the country to disgrace and ridicule by decamping,100 metres sprinter Yupun Abeykoon (left) and Discuss thrower Palitha Bandara (right) kept the flag flying by winning Bronz and Silver respectively at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

The number of people vanishing from the Games Village seems to be outnumbering the three medals Sri Lanka has won so far at the XXII Commonwealth Games.

At least four members of Sri Lanka’s 160-strong contingent have decamped with the latest being boxer Niklas Vittalis after his bout on Tuesday night.

The first to make the Houdini act was 21-year-old judoka Chamila Dilani Marappulige who virtually ‘eloped’ with the manager of the team Lt Cdr Asela Duminda de Silva, the president of the Sri Lanka Judo Association.

Chef-de-Mission of the Sri Lanka contingent Maj. Gen. Dampath Fernando (rtd) expressed disappointment at the disappearance of the official.

Then came the news that wrestler Shanith Chathurange Yoda Pedige who had completed her days of isolation after being tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival walked out in the guise of getting some fresh air when she was ready to depart from the hotel. The wrestling competition began yesterday.

Vittalis had not returned after going to the toilet following his round of 16 Light Middleweight contest against a Samoan which he lost.

Despite the best laid plans of mice and men there is little the management can do to prevent members of the tour contingent vanishing despite taking all precautions.

The British police also cannot arrest them unless they violate the law of the land since they have been issued six-month visas.

Vittalis from Killinochchi is the only one to abscond from the village without taking his passport.

“I am responsible to convey all circumstances, situation and progress with regard to the Commonwealth Games.

“We need to maintain transparency whether it is good, bad or ugly,” said Maj. Gen. Fernando (rtd) at a press conference on Thursday.

He highlighted the fact that silver medallist Palitha Bandara followed a pre-training programme twice in Birmingham University, the National Olympic Committee (NOC) had organized training for athletes Sarangi Silva in Turkey, wrestlers in Hungary and judoka Nuwan Gunawardhana in Slovakia.

In addition when the Sports Ministry funding ceased due to shortage of funds, the NOC paid the high performance weightlifters Rs 50,000 a month and also bought them shoes, he added.

Comments