The Sunday Leader

Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium Has Gone To Dogs

By Nirmala Kannangara

The Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium – a restricted area for any animal over the years – has now opened its doors widely for dogs.

The 84th All Breed Championship Dog Show by the Kennel Association of Sri Lanka was held on Sunday June 7 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium from morning till evening which has raised concern amongst the sports lovers in the country.

For them it is surprising and questionable why the Sports Ministry allowed a dog show to be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium when its management has imposed many restrictions even on sports bodies when they book the venue for sport activities. However it has now become a known secret why the fully air-conditioned indoor stadium was allowed to hold the dog show bypassing rules and regulations of the stadium.

Sugathadasa National Sports Complex Authority (SNSCA) comes under the Ministry of Sports. Although no animals are allowed to enter the indoor stadium which has a wooden floor with shock absorbers, the decision taken by the Chairman and the Board of Directors of SNSCA to stage a dog show, is said to have damaged the wooden floors as the canines have soiled the expensive carpets.

Former Chairman SNSCA Panduka Keerthinanda when contacted said that there is a policy decision taken by the SNSCA and followed throughout its 32-year history that animals cannot be taken into the indoor stadium which is the biggest international standard indoor stadium in the South East Asia.

“Once the dogs urinate there, the wooden floor gets damaged. Without holding the event in the air-conditioned indoor stadium, the SNSCA could have directed the Kennel Association to hold the show in the out- door stadium,” Keerthinanda said.

When asked how much the stadium charge for such a show for a day, Keerthinanda said that the charges differ. “There are 48 sports bodies that come under the Sports Ministry and we rent out the venue to them on certain charges and since this is an entertainment event, the charge is high. If I am not mistaken, for an entertainment such as this dog show, the charges would be between Rs. 700,000 and Rs. 800, 000,” Keerthinanda added.

Booking rates for school events, national sports festivals and Sports Associations is the lowest. For international sport events and education programmes, the rate is higher. However the events that fall under commercial events or musical shows, the booking is at premium rates.

However, according to reliable sources, the SNSCA has been instructed to undercharge the Kennel Association for a sum of Rs. 200,000 which is over Rs. 500,000 loss to the sports complex.

“On whose directions have they charged the Kennel Association a mere Rs. 200,000. Even if there was a directive from the Sports Ministry to undercharge, how can the Chairman and the Board of Directors of the SNSCA agree to such a minimal amount? During my tenure as the Chairman, the then Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa wanted the venue for a Ranaviru show a lesser fee and I was firmly against it. However, the Defence Secretary later agreed. If there is a policy it should apply to each and every citizen of this country,” Keerthinanda said.

“As I knew that he was talking about a booking, I wanted him to follow the normal procedure and go ahead with the booking, he added.

Devagedara meanwhile said that neither he nor any of his officials were forced to rent out the indoor stadium for the dog show and added that the Kennel Association paid the due fees for the event. “It was a two to three hour show and we charged Rs. 350,000 which is the normal fee for three hours,” Devagedara added.

When asked whether the dogs damaged the indoor stadium because more than 150 dogs were taken inside the air-conditioned stadium, Devagedara said that the dogs have not damaged the stadium at any point.

“The Kennel Association laid a large carpet over the stadium carpet and all the dogs were on that particular carpet. I should say that the four legged animals behaved in a much more refined manner than that of the two legged humans,” Devagedara claimed.

Meanwhile Booking Manager, SNSCA Mr Sampath while contradicting what his Chairman, told The Sunday Leader that he cannot remember the exact amount the SNSCA charged for the dog show but added that it is certainly more than Rs. 500,000.

“This show was held from morning till evening on June 7 and we charged the exact amount from them,” Sampath said.

When inquired whether the indoor stadium can be booked for any other show that animals take part, Sampath said that it can be allowed if that event comes under their (stadium authority) parameter. “This is an international show and the Kennel Association gave us a written assurance that they will repair the venue if it is damaged. They provided cleaning agents and by next morning the venue was ready to hold some British Council exams. The SNSCA Act has given us the authority to hold any event to generate funds, so there are no restrictions as such,” Sampath said.

Meanwhile, the President of the Kennel Association of Sri Lanka Manisha Wimalasekera when contacted her refused to comment. However she later returned the telephone call and asked the newspaper to e-mail the questions related to the allegations.

19 Comments for “Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium Has Gone To Dogs”

  1. Maloshie Silva

    Not at all surprised! Poor Minister Dissanayake and his mum crudely manipulated by the President Manisha Wimalasekera in style for her benefit! She along with her main bum suckers Hasita Dinesh and Viraj Fernando have no end to their greed, selfishness, dishonesty and manipulation. Their dogs have won in the last 6 shows in a row by their crude manipulation and inviting judges favourable to them governed by their greed to win by hook or crook.

    • Shan

      Marciloser, what has this got to do with this? I think over 150 people benefited from this show? They all got to show in an indoor stadium or wait did they lock them all outside and not let them in? Oh no Marciwanker!

      Did you enter your mongrel? If he didn’t win this year there is always the bow wow show you can enter yourself in. I’ll let you know the dates.

      All in all I though this show was great. I really enjoyed it. I’d just be happy Sri Lanka had a show like this. Well for me it was a first. You’re in the US, why don’t you go and see one of their indoor shows, if they let you in.

      Good luck brother

  2. Dilshan

    Great show! Is this news we want to waste time on, don’t we have much more important things to worry about?
    My company has had many events at the stadium and just to comment on the former chairmans comments. I know they have bowed down to many, and the previous administration has ruined the stadium. I have entertained VIP’s and you should see the state of the VIP restaurant, kitchen and waiting area. They have left it in shambles and wasted millions of rupees, now the new administration has to fix it up.
    In my view the former chairman and his administration have urinated on the whole stadium and ruined it.
    How about we look at BMICH, Nelum Pokuna, Sugathadasa stadium and look at the former events held and the background into them? Is this dog thing such a big deal compared to those?
    Are we forgetting the famous night races where the little boys wanted to race their expensive toys? Where our soldiers were made to lift and place sand bags all over the roads with our money for their joy. They even held it in our sacred city where many opposed and now we compare those to this little event?
    Like the current chairman said, if they looked after the stadium, followed the rules and kept it in the state they took it why do we make such an issue? Opposition and jealousy I would think?
    I think we should appreciate an event of this sort as I don’t see the harm in this? It’s the backward thinking of a few who have made a silly spectacle of this event.
    I saw the pictures of this event and all I can say is WOW!

  3. Rohan Jayasinghe.

    Dear All.
    I along with the members personally think that this should be the venue for a dog show.
    We need to improve the standard of our shows.
    Well done and congratulations to the Committee who has put in all the effort.
    After all this sport too has to be given some encouragement by the government.
    Thank you Mr. Minister and Management Committee of The Sugathadasa Stadium for helping.
    My sincere wishes to the Committee.
    All the best.
    Rohan Jayasinghe.

  4. Warren T Chang

    It indeed was a super venue, great chance for the committee whose was able to be there in the line up. However there were some big common sense mistakes despite the president want a country bred dog winning BIS and improve standards etc…. firstly, ENGLISH BULLDOG is NON SPORTING and NEVER WORKING, it was totally unfair and a very big mistake. The club had never shown any interest in improving the breed standard other than financial gain by sale of ARDEN GRANGE dog food or stud service using there own, friends or family dogs. It is even sadder to see that the BIS is always a set up since 2012 for example, just because the BIS winner 2012 and now president had already shown her dog under the initial invited judge a 2nd judge was invited to judge and award a BIS costing extra money to the club. She later went to win BIS in 2013 etc…. As a dog lover I am saying the club is showing a bull shit side to the world. The breeds are suffering, dogs are suffering, people are suffering because of poorly bred dogs. I wish they came out of there coccoon and fly into the reality of the dog world than say NO COMMENTS or resort to thuggery. We should not be scared if these thugs politically connected or from dangerous origins. Together we can wipe them out. This is for all the true dog lovers out there.

    • Marina

      Are you the same Warren who used to drown his pups? Are you the same Warren who is the father of 3 pugs? You are the true dog lover. Oink Oink

      • Warren T Chang

        Marina ha ha own up! We went to same school …. know each other well. I never gave away my adult dogs and am true dog lover. Stop accusing of drwowning dogs. Proof it. Dont hide….. come out confront me. Bark Bark

  5. Ranjit

    Everyone should visit the CKC show. This time it will be surprise to see who wins. Previous winners were all from the Rajapakse family. I remember the dog that looked like a big bear and the dog that looked like the dulux dog. They were not better than my dogs. Every show they gave a award to one of the family dogs. Now since they are not in power who will they select to award? If they don’t found a suitable powerful candidate I wont be surprised if it goes to the dog from Bagatelle. I know my dogs should win the show since they will be the best looking and the best condition.

  6. VJ

    Reading this article I realized how narrow mined people are and why this country will never move forward. This was a great idea and great event. Most venues in this country should be opened up for dogs and at least they lighten up the place! If someone claims a floor was damaged due to urination of dogs well I wonder why this venue prides itself as having a treated floor that is not damaged by spills?!! The things these so called “sports lovers” do within this compound is unmentionable and at least the competitors in this show were honest and respectable.

    • Harli de Zoysa

      My foot – at least the competitors in this show were honest and respectable.!
      This was a KASL show. The winner has for the last four years Manisha Wimalasekera, the president of the club. She make sure it was her team that is in the lineup of winners.
      Ever wonder why certain things happen in the 2012 KASL dog show. 2 judges were invited to judge 1 dog show because the winner of that KASL best in show had already shown her dog under the initial judge invited. So how did the club know she was going to win best in show and to arrange another judge just for her purpose….. or was it a planned action by the club, judge etc…. the owner of best in show is now KASL President, strangely the previous President of 2012 is a known friend of the current President and the payback …..the dog the previous President is now showing bred by the now President? Such corruption in shows. So sad.

    • Fisherwoman

      The beauty of the subject is what happened to the furniture that belonged to the KASL when it was at Lakpahana. Nobody seem to be asking or investigating about what happened to the furniture. There were cupboards, chairs, working tables and meeting tables that all went missing when the club shifted to its then temporary location at Isipatana Mawatha. Who is responsible. It is the member money/ public money. Even after new committee had taken over there is no interest in the missing good – could it be the special relationship or the buy back of the previous president

    • Tusari

      KASL President’s father was the dummy for Gaminis illgotten Mahaweli funds invested in Uniwalkers with japanese agencys got by Gamini using his influnce. KASL President’s brother is married to Navins Secretary/ gay partner Deraj Almeidas sister. Coruption and gay wheels within wheels

  7. Jayasinghe.

    There were two very well run dog clubs in the past the Ceylon Kennel Club (CKC) and the Kennel Association of Sri Lanka (KASL). The latter was the more prestigious club run until 2011 by a group of people who were committed to the sport. It has now been ‘taken over’ by a group of people whose President’s dog is always the winner. What a shame. Since the KASL President’s father was a friend of Gamini’s she would have involved Navin and his unsuspecting mother.

    • Sujatha Samarakkodi

      Yes Yes after 2011 achievements are seen. All money collected before 2011 lavishly spent with nothing added after 2011. Greed and dishonesty seen after 2011 from all in KASL seeking self ego boost and business! Flag flying in self esteem! To the now KASL “තන්හාය ජායතී සෝකෝ”

  8. Sujatha Samarakkodi

    Well said Warren who ever you are. It is a pity that Navin Dissanayake has got himself and his mother involved with a dog club, which is run by people with no ethics. The dog clubs are now run for two motives, financial gain and to gain prestige. It is no longer a sport or an unbiased ‘show’. The same person’s dog wins over and over again. She has now become the President of the KASL and runs it with her cronies. Society has fallen to such a low level that even a dog show has to be controversial.

    • Tuk Tuk Driver

      It is not Navin Dissanayake. It is his secretary G A Y Almeida who helped his sisterinlaw, President of kennel cub with the whopping discount of over half a million. It is thamungepawuleyahapata not yahapalanaya!

      • Gay

        “Mahinda same old stuff…old tape…nothing new for the people…people will put you in dustbin of history…sad to see you fall step by step like this…,” No not Mahinda but you, Navin and your brother, Mayantha who worshiped Mahinda …. Have you forgotten? Who got a loan to do a degree at nominal interest? Whose partner gave more Than Rs Half A Million discount to his sister-in-law to show her dog to fixed win and boost the prestige of her cronies? Who went with your mother begging to former Defence Secretary in charge of UDA to get approval for the highrise appartments on your house in Alfred House Garden? You are a spent force!

    • Vigilant Observer

      After the KASL – President, Publicity Secretary and Ex-Co Member/President’s Private Secretary cum Manager took off to Bangkok last night the high activity of comments have come to a halt. Now it is quite evident of who was behind all these comments appearing under different names trying to create conflict. What a shame? How sad at the level of the once prestigious KASL having dropped to?

  9. Sujatha Samarakkodi

    Why no pics and news of a dog from Sri Lanka had won in Thailand? No wins despite big investment and only dog of the event?

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