Nasty social conduct of Sri Lankan flag-bearer at Olympics | Sunday Observer

Nasty social conduct of Sri Lankan flag-bearer at Olympics

1 August, 2021
Chamara Dharmawardena
Chamara Dharmawardena

The controversy and dispute that surrounded the selection of judo exponent Chamara Dharmawardena to carry the Sri Lanka flag at the Tokyo Olympics could not have been justified any better than by the manner in which he paid scant respect to the media representing the people that only indicated the background from which he comes.

If Dharmawardena’s appalling conduct that not only snubbed the media but also disregarded and demoralized the country’s flag he carried at the opening ceremony is not taken to task, then it is completely understandable as the people who gave him that honour belong to the shadiest of shady lifestyles. It showed how much Dharmawardena knows about the society he lives in, the requirements of etiquette and protocol at one of the world’s largest social events and the responsibility of honour that was bestowed on him by giving him the country’s flag.

Those who suggested that the flag-bearing honour should have gone to the most decent find in the Sri Lanka contingent Matthew Abeysinghe, have enough ammunition now to fire at the powers that be while some will be laughing for a lifetime.

Abeysinghe is the only Sri Lankan Olympian who could have demand that he carried the Lion flag, although he is too modest a lad to bulldoze his way, having a room full of gold medals.

The keepers of tennis removed top women’s player Naomi Osaka from a recent Grand Slam event for failing to meet media obligations and commercial sponsor requirements.

Fortunately for Sri Lankan sportsmen and women, and unfortunately for sports followers in the country, it is a free-for-all in this land they call paradise.