DIG Lewke plays foul
Minister Gamini Lokuge and
DIG Nimal Lewke
Politics of rugby that threatens
to ruin the sport
By Lal Gunasekera
Something has radically gone wrong with the
rugby set-up in Sri Lanka and of late many
issues have come to the surface.
This is particularly so with regard to the
selection of a captain and team for the
Asian Division I championship to get
underway in Taipei on November 12, removal
and resignation of selectors, and also the
Chairman of the Police Rugby Committee DIG
Nimal Lewke (who also heads the local Rugby
Union) writing to the IGP to take
disciplinary action against an ASP who
happened to be one of the selectors and
resigned in protest over Minister Lokuge
including a player who was not originally
picked by the selectors in the team sent for
the Minister's ratification.
It all started over the captaincy issue,
with DIG Nimal Lewke's son Dushan being
picked to captain the national side with
Dilantha Wijesekera as his deputy. This was
done by the earlier selectors headed by
retired Brigadier Jupana Jayawardene. These
selectors were later removed from office by
Minister Lokuge. A new set of selectors were
appointed by the Minister on October 22
headed by Rohan Abeykoon. This set of
selectors nominated Wijesekera to be the
captain for the entire tour of Chinese
Tricked by the SLRFU
However, Minister Lokuge, had said at a
meeting that as he had been "tricked" by the
SLRFU to ratify the name of Dushan Lewke for
the Chinese Taipei tour, young Lewke should
be made captain for the first game and
Wijesekera for the second.
The Sports Ministry in a letter to this
writer subsequently denied the minister
having said that he was 'tricked,' but we
have it on good authority that he did make
such a statement.
In fact the letter written by the SLRFU
secretary which the minister reportedly
approved, though signed did not contain the
name of the signatory except for the fact
that it was on a Rugby Union letterhead and
dated September 1, 2008.
If the minister now claims that he was not
'tricked' he would look even sillier as the
letter approved by him gives the name of the
vice captain as Dilanka Wijesinghe when
there is no player by that name. The player
in question is Dilanka Wijesekera.
The heading of the letter itself states
"Singer-Sri Lankan International Seven a
Side Tournament 2008, team list for approval
and selection of Captain to the
International 15 a Side Rugby Team."
Approved the selection
Therefore in effect, the Minister has
approved the selection based on a letter
signed by an unnamed person with a non
existent player being named as vice captain.
The heading of the letter was misleading
with the seven a side tournament being mixed
up with the selection of a captain for the
international 15 a side.
If the minister was not tricked, was he
In any event the suggestion of Minister
Lokuge to appoint two captains being silly
the selectors insisted that this was an
absurd situation. How would it be if there
were different captains appointed for a Test
series in cricket? Mahela Jayawardene for
one, Chaminda Vaas for the next?
Pretty absurd isn't it and a big joke. But
this is what exactly happened where rugby
and the tour of Taipei was concerned.
Sent for ratification
The selectors had then sent the team they
had picked for ratification, and to their
surprise saw that one player had been
'dropped' and another brought in. Due to
this interference by the minister the
selectors resigned on November 1 after
having been in office just nine days.
However the Rugby Union went on to nominate
players to replace those from Kandy Sports
Club who either refused to play under young
Lewke or said they were injured. This list
was later sent for ratification.
But the question is - how did the Union
pick players? According to the Sports Law,
it has to be the selectors and no one else.
The latest episode involved DIG Lewke who
has written a confidential letter to the IGP
on November 3, recommending disciplinary
action taken against ASP Marso, a member of
the selection committee, who resigned with
What Lewke has attempted to do through his
letter is punish ASP Marso for his role as a
selector which had nothing to do with his
service interests. This was so when Lewke
himself had a vested interest due to the
captaincy issue over his son.
That in effect is a classic case of a
conflict of interest with Lewke attempting
to use his rank to punish a fellow police
officer over an issue which had nothing to
do with his performance as a Police Officer.
In this letter to the IGP, DIG Lewke, states
that he (DIG Lewke) "condemns the conduct of
ASP Marso" who he feels has violated the
disciplinary code, and more than anything,
"gone against the police captain," who was
brought in by the Minister, 'which is
unpardonable' and that he had even insulted
'Chief spokesman' of the selection committee
DIG Lewke accuses ASP Marso of being the
'chief spokesman' of the selection committee
that resigned and then publicly criticised
the decision of the Minister during Sirasa
TV's 7 p.m. news bulletin on November 1.
In the same letter to the IGP, DIG Lewke,
refers to a rumour about a "rich
entrepreneur with dubious reputation, who is
the architect of this whole episode and
believes that there has been a black money
transaction which was the cause of the split
as this person's favourite player was left
out from the team." He also refers to the
man dealing with black money as a failed
politician. That alone is a serious
allegation and raises a question about the
action Lewke as a senior Police Officer has
taken to apprehend a man dealing in black
money if he in fact had information to that
When The Sunday Leader asked DIG Lewke to
whom he was referring to, and why no Police
action was been taken, he said that the
person was one Rizly Illyaz and that no
complaint has been made to enable an inquiry
into this matter. "It's just a rumour" said
Lewke but what he did not say is that Illyaz
is not a politician - failed or otherwise.
The irony however is that Lewke has as a
Deputy Inspector General of Police seen it
fit to put pen to paper on a rumour and
bring it to the notice of the IGP no less
and demanded action against a fellow Police
Officer.(See box for Lewke's letter)
The Sunday Leader attempted to contact
Rizly Illyaz but was told that he has gone
on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne too was not
available for comment.
Marso is a policeman, but as a national
selector, he takes independent decisions
with the others of the selection committee.
One does not have club loyalties when one is
in the selection committee.
Another interesting aspect of the selection
process, is a letter sent by DIG Lewke to
former Chairman of the selection committee,
Brigadier (Rtd) Jupana Jayawardene, on July
30 that the candidate for the captaincy
should have represented Sri Lanka at
national level at least for three
consecutive years without any interruption.
That was to ensure his son qualified for the
How can the SLRFU dictate terms to the
selectors, appointed by the Sports Minister
who have to be independent in their
The question is whether Lewke is the real
problem when it comes to rugby selections.
It is therefore time President Mahinda
Rajapakse himself a keen rugby fan took
matters to hand and resolved the outstanding
issues without allowing the jackboot of a
policemen to ruin the game of rugby in
and with it our future prospects too.
A verbatim of the letter by DIG Lewke to
Inspector General of Police
Conduct of ASP H.M. Marso attached to
I wish to bring to your kind notice the
behaviour of ASP., H.M. Marso attached
There is a dispute over the selection of
the Sri Lanka Rugby team for the
forthcoming Asian International
Tournament in Taiwan. A group of Kandy
players have protested and Hon. Minister
of Sports appointed a committee to look
into this matter and in the process of
these developments, Minister dissolved
the Rugby Selection Committee headed by
Brigadier (Retired) J.P. Jayawardena and
appointed a new Selection Committee
where ASP Marso was one of the members.
According to the reports, the new
Selection Committee had submitted 24
names to the Minister for ratification.
The Minister however had not agreed on
two names and had wanted the Kandy
Sports Club players replaced by the
present Police Rugby Captain B.D.N.
Fernando and his name was proposed to
the Minister by the two South African
Coaches who are in-charge of the
National Rugby Team preparation.
However, on this issue the Selection
Committee called a press Briefing on
Saturday, November 1, 2008 at CH & FC Pavilion and announced their resignation and criticised
the Minister for the stand he took to
include the Police Captain. This was
telecast on "Sirasa 7 O' clock news
bulletin." The chief spokesman of the
selectors was ASP Marso who publicity
criticised the decision of the Minister
and objected to the appointment of B.D.N.
Fernando and announced their
The behaviour of this nature by a
Gazetted Officer and making a public
statement over electronic media cannot
be accepted. Furthermore he has insulted
the Minister who appointed him as a
selector having confidence in him - may
be because he is a Police Officer. All
Police Rugby players and the Police
Rugby Committee and many in the Police
Department were flabbergasted to see ASP
Marso going against the inclusion of the
present Police Captain in the National
Team. Whereas he should have been the
happiest to see one of his brother
officers getting an opportunity to
represent the country and he had been
nominated by none other than two
professional independent coaches from
South Africa. I as the Chairman of
Police Rugby is at a loss, as to how a
policeman, who is everything in the
Department due to what he earns as a
ruggerite has forgotten his basic norm,
ethics and had the audacity to make
public statements over electronic media
against another police officer. Since
there are rumours floating that a rich
entrepreneur with a dubious reputation,
an identified, failed politician is the
architect of this episode and it is
believed that there have been a black
money transaction which caused this
split as this person's favourite player
was left out from the team.
I as the Chairman, of Police Rugby
Football, condemn the conduct of ASP
Marso and I believe that he had violated
the disciplinary code and more than
anything his going against the Police
Captain is unpardonable and he has
disgraced the Department and insulted
the Minister being a government
I bring this to your notice in the
interests of police rugby and the
reputation of the Police Department and
strongly recommend that disciplinary
action should be taken against this ASP
Police Rugby Union
Hapless rugby looks to the one 'above'
making sense out of this sequence:
Sport Minister Lokuge claims he was misled
into approving the appointment of Dushantha
Lewke as national rugby captain. So he
invalidates the appointment, sacks the
errant selectors and replaces them with a
The new panel choose the 24-member touring
squad and names Dilanka Wijesekera as
captain. But Lokuge, as if just recovered
from a bout of amnesia, wants Lewke back as
captain, at least for one match. The
Upshot: Two captains of one team, for two
separate games of one tournament. This might
not be a resolution that makes much sense,
but at least the protracted bitchiness the
captaincy controversy generated had come to
an end, and the focus could now shift to the
Asian Nations Championships itself. Right?
Not by a long shot.
Unbeknownst, the ministry, on orders from
"above,', make two changes to the touring
squad of 24, then summon the selectors and
ask them to sanction the two changes.
Selectors resist. The ministry, in an
apparent bid to strike a compromise, agrees
to make one change. Selectors won't buy -
and resign, mind you, just nine days of
rugby, so, is poised to have a third set of
selectors in nearly as many weeks.
With the selection committee out of the
way, the ministry goes ahead and makes one
change in the touring squad: Police's B.D.N.
Kandy SC no.8 Bisthmian. The union releases the amended
squad, a day after issuing the original
Two senior Kandy SC players, in protest of
their club mate's scratching, pullout of the
touring squad and some half dozen others,
Kandy, stay away from training, citing injuries.
Upshot (2): Back to the episode's beginning
in September, when Lewke was first appointed
captain, instigating the withdrawal of 13
Kandy SC players
from the national training squad.
Managed to work through that maze? If your
mind, however, is in a spin and feels as if
you have come off an over-speeding
merry-go-round, well, it's not your blood
pressure misbehaving, but rather, that is
pretty much what the sequence adds up to: a
journey to nowhere, just like a ride on the
merry-go-round is. And frankly, any
suggestion that we withdraw from the
November 12 tournament is not without merit.
Of course, it is a little too late now for a
pullout of a tournament that is sanctioned
by the ARFU - and by extension the IRB - as
withdrawals can mean the country being
blackballed by the world body.
Pursuance of vested interest more than any
fear of being ostracised by the IRB,
however, will be the reason which compels
Sri Lanka to show its flag in Chinese-Taipei
next week. Reportedly, the union is going
ahead with plans to name replacements for
what appears to be an imminent boycott by
the Kandy players.
Such a move is as good as tip-toeing through
a minefield. For one thing, there is no
selection committee, which means the Sport
Minister would have to, in a hurry, name new
selectors to do the job of naming
replacements for the likely withdrawals.
Given the way Minister Lokuge has flaunted
his powers, picking selectors in a jiffy to
do an urgent job is not beyond him.
That, though, is not the issue. Rather, the
question is if the replacements will fit
into schemes and strategies formulated after
weeks of experimentation with players
originally chosen. Rugby is about teamwork -
a quality that doesn't come after a mere few
days of on-field togetherness, which is how
briefly the new players would have worked
with the rest of the squad before taking on
Asia's first division countries.
This is, of course, presuming the new (yet
unannounced) selection committee (which
would be the third appointed in as many
weeks) had chosen the replacement-players.
But given that the squad is to depart just
two-three days from the time of this
writing, Friday afternoon, it is
inconceivable all the formalities of naming
new selectors, and them selecting some
half-dozen new players could be completed in
Through necessity, some other officials
would, in this instance, obviously have to
do the job of the selectors - which bring
into question the legality of the selection.
The law requires a ministry-appointed
selection committee to choose national
teams/squads, and replacements, should the
need arise. So, selections of players to
join the national team/squad by any other
person or body other than the selection
committee will be deemed ultra vires - and
so raise the prospects of someone, anyone,
seeking an injunction order from court to
prevent the team from competing.
That, of course, is the worse case scenario,
though honestly, it is the eventuality this
long-playing bickering deserves. On
reflection, the two months of nitpicking has
all been about national captaincy, ever a
debatable issue, no matter who the nominee
is. In the case of Lewke's appointment,
though, accusation of bias was much too
strong to make it a debate of low intensity:
his father, DIG Nimal Lewke, is SLRFU
President, and inevitably suspicion will
hang thick over the son's appointment.
As if the papa-sonna factor wasn't enough
wood in the fire, the fickleness of Sport
Minister Lokuge did anything but help put
out the flames. Historically, sport
ministers have been square pegs
force-inserted into round holes. You
wouldn't expect the one-time trade unionist
to know if Muralitharan would be more
effective on the dustbowl of Khettarama or
the green top in Dunedin, much less if
Bisthmian is a better no.8 than Lewke.
If Lokuge's knowledge of sport was that
intimate, he wouldn't ask selection
committees to do the job. But the trouble is
that, once the selectors have done their
job, Lokuge puts his two-cent worth - which
is why rugby has had a high turnover of
selectors. It will be recalled, last year
too the Anton Benedict-led selection panel
quit after just six months, refusing to
comply with Lok- uge's demand to include the
Kandy SC players the selectors had excluded because of
absence from training.
Against that backdrop, you don't need to be
an exceptional intellect to deduce that
politics is the reason for Lokuge's shifty
decision-making. He might have stood by the
selectors' choice of 24, meaning the
retention of Kandy SC's Bisthmian and
Wijesekera as the sole leader, but for the
fact that orders from "above'' have to be
obeyed (as admitted by the ministry
officials at the meeting in which the
The central reason for this dispute is the
same old, tired one: the perennial bickering
Union and Kandy SC.
The affiliation of Malik Samarawickrema to
the champion side is as common a knowledge
as his political affiliations to the UNP.
So, it is just possible that rugby's current
tug-of-war is a spillover of the Government
v. UNP rivalry.
Were it not, then Lokuge, using all his
experience in the tough, unruly world of
trade unionism, would have knocked the heads
of the Union and Kandy SC together and
restored order - rather than allow rugby's
grownups to behave like unruly kids. But
Lokuge, apparently, too is under orders of
someone "above'' and so can't be the man he
is. He has been described as a 'bull in the
China shop;' a goat might be better metaphor
- a scapegoat, that is.
Full Option Safe Drivers Rally
Most people associate motor rallies with
thrills which are based purely on the
drivers skill in handling a vehicle at high
speed. However the Ceylon Motor Sports
Club(CMSC) - the premier motor club of Sri
Lanka and Janashakthi Insurance - an
innovative and leading motor insurance
company in Sri Lanka have joined hands to
organise a truly unique experience to the
average drivers of Sri Lanka and the general
motor loving public.
This event is named the Janashakthi Full
Option Mind challenge which is based
predominantly on team work of the driver and
his navigator and on mind power as much as
their driving skills. This event will be
held on November 16. It provides an
excellent opportunity for any motorist to
participate in a motor sports competition
without having to do any special preparation
of the vehicle or needing any special
This event is recognised by the governing
body of motor sport, Sri Lanka Automobile
Sports as a National Event and is organised
as a "time and distance" rally.
Highlights of the week
Anil Kumble retires
Indian Test Cricket captain Anil Kumble
called it quits from all forms of the game
at the conclusion of the third test against
Australia. The 38-year-old leg spinner
in 132 Tests, having made his debut way back
in the year 1990. Kumble has captured 619
test wickets, the third highest in the
history of the game.
Lewis Hamilton - New Formula I champion
Swiss based British driving sensation Lewis
Hamilton held his nerve to become the
world's youngest Formula I champion. The
final race of the year, the Brazilian Grand
Prix came to a dramatic end when Hamilton
took fifth spot on the final stretch to pip
race winner Felipe Massa for the overall
Holy Cross wins Zahira invitation football
Holy Cross College
won the 4th edition of the Zahira College
invitation football tournament by defeating
the host school 1 goal to nil in a tense
St. Sylvester's pugilists pocket junior
St. Sylvesters College,
emerged junior national boxing champions.
Earlier in the year St. Sylvesters captured
the prestigious Stubbs Shield. Air Force
finished second, ahead of Kingswood College
by a solitary point.
SL U-20 in exciting win over Singapore
under 20 ruggerites scored an exciting 48
points to 32 win over Singapore in their
opening match at the Youth Rugby Asiad now
in progress in South Korea.
Lankan women lose to Caribbean counterparts
The first of the five limited over games
between hosts Sri Lanka and West Indies
ended in a comprehensive win for the latter.
West Indies women cricketers were restricted to 167 runs in
their allotted overs the Lankan lasses did
no better falling short of the target by 40
40th test century for Sachin Tendulkar
Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar notched up
his 40th test century in the ongoing 4th and
final test against the Australians. It was
the tenth occasion that Sachin had gone past
the three-figure mark against the Aussies.
— Compiled by Ranil Prematilake
China pulls out from Asian Div. I C'ship
By Lal Gunasekera
has pulled out from the Asian Division I
Rugby Championships starting on November 12
(Wednesday) in Chinese Taipei, leaving only
Singapore, Sri Lanka and the host country to
battle it out. The
team is scheduled to leave the island
Meanwhile, the three players from Kandy
Sports Club who pulled out from the national
side citing injury are to undergo a medical
examination to be conducted by Dr.
Githanjana Mendis, who heads the Sports
Ministry's Medical Unit.
The three players are Anuranga Walpola, Sean
Wijesinghe and Pradeep Liyanage. If they are
"faking injury", disciplinary action is to
be taken against them by SLRFU.
Earlier, Sanjeewa Jayasinghe and Radhika
Hettiarachchi decided to pull out from the
team as they were not willing to play under
By Hafiz Marikar
November 1 was the 12th death anniversary
of the versatile sportsman, sports
benefactor, philanthropist and gentleman -
President J.R. Jayewardene.
JR as he was popularly known tasted both
victory and defeat as a schoolboy. He
played for Royal in 1925 and was a member of
team in the Battle of the Blues. In that
encounter although JR was dismissed for a
duck he held the match winning catch that
brought victory to Royal. He also played
cricket for Law College and several other
clubs in Colombo.
As a keen ruggerite and cricketer he often
visited Kandy to play against Trinity
College from 1914 to 1925. JR's name was
extremely popular among the Royalists not
because he participated in numerous sports
disciplines but for his outstanding
He led the
rugby team in 1924. That year although Royal
had a good side they lost to Trininty led by
P.A. Bultjens - by 3-37 at Bogambara.
JR was the vice captain of the football team
and played as centre half. He was well
known his long range kicks. He was one of
the finest long distance goal shooters of
that era. Later he played for clubs in
Colombo with the CH&FC being his favourite
He was also a fine pugilist and boxed for
Royal along with his erstwhile friend the
late Dr. Colvin R. de Silva. For a while he
also played tennis.
The late JR was the president of the SSC
till his demise. He gave cricket a prominent
place and went on to become the president of
the Board of Control for Cricket in
How did Guy de Alwis visit India for WC
By Lal Gunasekera
How did a member of the Interim Committee
for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) visit New Delhi,
India for a two-day meeting in connection
with the preparations for the 2011 World Cup
without the approval of the Sports and
Public Recreation Minister?
The Sunday Leader reliably learns that Guy
de Alwis left the island on Tuesday
(November 4) morning, although the letter to
the minister was sent only Tuesday evening
requesting the Minister's permission.
Some members of SLC's Interim Committee said
that they were not consulted on the decision
to send de Alwis to India, and if Chairman
Arjuna Ranatunga was unable to attend this
particular meeting in New Delhi, either
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Duleep Mendis
or Treasurer Sujeewa Rajapakse should have
been sent. The latter is already in the
Organising Committee for the 2011 World Cup
where matches are scheduled to be played in
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Some of the issues to be discussed at this
meeting in New Delhi pertain to the budget,
matters relating to taxes, logistical
details, common visas for all four
countries, amongst other details.
Sebastian's shot out for 25
Paceman Bhanuka Rajapaksa snapped up four
wickets from eight deliveries including a
hat trick as Royal College took control over
St. Sebastian's College, Moratuwa on the
opening day of their inter school cricket
tournament match which commenced at Reid
Avenue on Friday.
Rajapaksa who came into the attack as the
first change bowler struck in his second,
third and fourth deliveries to complete a
unique hat trick and added another scalp in
his second over as the Sebastianites were
shot out for just 25 runs in their first
innings from 17.2 overs.
Scores: Royal: 304 for 8 decl (K. Vithanage
142, H. Mowjood 60, A. Rajapaksa 28, P. de
Mel 3 for 57, A. Gayashan 2 for 63, A. de
Alwis 2 for 51)
St. Sebastian's: 25 (B. Rajapaksa 4 for 0,
Y. Abeykoon 4 for 15, L. de Silva 2 for 3)
and 43 for 1 (D. Dias 21 n.o)
Petes take U-15 Div. I crown
St. Peter's College completed a fine double
as they outplayed St. Anthony's College,
Kandy by 102 runs in the Masscom inter
school Under 15 division one limited overs
cricket tournament final worked off at the
CCC grounds, Maitland Crescent on Friday.
Scores: St. Peter's: 198 for 9 in 50 overs
(S. Fernando 28, L. Hirantha 24, R.
Liyanarachchi 45, H. Seneviratne 24 n.o, K.
Ranaraja 3 for 61, T. Hettige 3 for 26, B.
Liyanage 2 for 12)
St. Anthony's: 96 in 44.5 overs (T.
Jayasinghe 24, S. Fernando 3 for 21, P.
Herath 2 for 26, A. Mackie 2 for 17, J. de
Silva 2 for 9)
Nishika restricts De Mazenod
Paceman Nishika de Silva returned excellent
figures of five wickets for 47 to help St.
Joseph's College dismiss De Mazenod College
for 183 runs in their first innings on the
opening day of their inter school cricket
tournament match which began at Kandana on
Scores: De Mazenod: 183 (A. Soysa 35, L.
Rangika 30, S. Maduranga 30, N. Madushan 24,
T. Rajasuriya 3 for 35, C. Kumara 2 for 14,
N. de Silva 5 for 47)
St. Joseph's: 85 for 3 (S. Weerasinghe 30
n.o, N. Madushanka 2 for 22)
Indian Shreya Ghei pockets Sri Lanka Ladies
By Ranil Prematilake
The setting was perfect on the lush green
course at the picturesque Victoria Golf &
Country Resort, Rajawella for two of the top
lady golfers in the region to battle it out
for the 121st Sri Lanka Ladies Amateur
championship honours. Sheer determination
and talent saw young Indian Shreya Ghei
prevailing over the much-experienced Suwen
Selvaratnam in a close final.
Earlier over the weekend, two qualifying
rounds were contested to select the four
best players to progress to feature in the
semi final round. Shreya Ghei of India,
Rasika (caddie turned golfer), Suwen
Selvaratnam and Niloo Jayatilake (also a key
proponent in organising this event at the
Victoria course) all from Sri Lanka made it
to the last four.
In the first semi final Shreya Ghei of India
had an easy win over Rasika on the 12th hole
and in the second semi final Suwen
Selvaratnam beat Niloo Jayatilake on the
17th hole after a hard fought match. In the
final 15 year old Shreya Ghei of India beat
veteran golfer of Sri Lanka Suwen
Selvaratnam on the 16th hole.
Sri Lanka Golf Union was instrumental in
selecting and recommending the renowned
Victoria Golf & Country Resort, Rajawella as
the venue for this annual extravaganza which
tests the skills of the best at amateur
level of the sport.
Meanwhile the men's event too got underway
with favourites Mithun Perera and K.
Prabakaran setting the early pace.
The challenge trophies were awarded to the
Leonard Peiris Cup (best gross 18 holes)
Winner - Shreya Ghei (India)
Firestone Jepson Cup (best net 18 holes)
Winner - S. Sandhya
Pin Fernando trophy (best net 2 round)
Winner - S. Sandhya, Runner up - Niloo
Lilamini Weeraratne trophy Winner - Shreya
Ghei, Runner up - Suwen Selvaratnam
Senior Event Gross - Suwen Selvaratnam
Senior Event Nett - Linda Harris
Consolation Cup Winner - Rasika, Runner-up
F.B. de Mel Challenge Cup Winner - Manori
Jayakody, Runner up - Fran de Mel
Sri Lanka Ladies Open Amateur Championship
Winner - Shreya Ghei (India), Runner-up - S.
Janashakthi Sailing Nationals
A total of 35 sailboats in four different
classes competed last weekend in the
Janashakthi Sailing Nationals sailing from
the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club, Bolgoda.
Amidst winds gusting to an estimated 25km
per hour, the spectacle was enhanced by the
colourful spinnaker sails flown by the
largest boats competing in the event, the
14-foot GP-14 won by the current World Youth
Champion in this class - 17-year old Devin
Goonewardena (Stafford International) with
his father Asanka as crew. With each boat
sailing six races (one discard), the
Goonewardenas scored 1-1-1-1-3 to clinch the
Devin's younger brother Dimitri (also
Stafford International) came first in the
Optimist class, restricted to sailors under
the age of 16. Nadine Rozairo (British
School) won the single-handed under-19 Laser
4.7 class, while W.P.K. Janaka carrying
W.A.R. Nishantha as crew (both from the Sri
Lanka Navy), won the Enterprise class.
The winners received their trophies from
Abbigail Schaffter, Ravi Liyanage (general
manager, sales & marketing) and Tilan
Wijeyesekara (head of marketing) Janashakthi
Insurance, who sponsor the event annually.
As a national event, the regatta was
organised by the Yachting Association of Sri
Lanka with Lalin Jirasinha serving as Race
Officer and with assistance from the Ceylon
Motor Yacht Club.
The runners up in the various events were:
Optimist Class: 1st Runner up - Nadine
Jayaratne (Colombo International School),
2nd Runner up - Joshua Karpinski (Lyceum International
Laser 4.7 (Under 19 ): 1st Runner up -Viren
Dias (Colombo International School), 2nd
Runner up - Radheeka Jirasinha (Ladies College)
Class: 1st Runner up - R.P.I. Pushpakumara &
W.P.U.S. Kumara (Sri Lanka Navy), 2nd Runner
up -T. Ghanawardene & A.P.K. Soysa (Sri
GP 14 Class: 1st Runner up - Mohan
Balasuriya & Steen Wetlesen, 2nd Runner up -
Joseph Kenny & Pramukshi Kariyawasam