Olympian Sugath threatened for attending protest

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Former Olympian and Asian Games Gold medallist Sugath Thilakaratne has received threats for attending the protest in support of the ongoing movement against the Government.

Thilakarathne (48) attended a press conference organised by former athletes in support of the ongoing movement against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Independence Square recently, and afterwards he had received threats from a group of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) employees, where he is employed.

Thilakarathne lodged a complaint at Wellampitiya Police over threats to his life on 9 April, and Police   recorded statements from CPC employees who allegedly threatened him.

“This group who threatened me constitute supporters of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Party  . They asked me not to voice my opposition against the Government, and to not be involved in the ‘Go Home Gota’ campaign. I am not a member of any political party. I am just a citizen of Sri Lanka working for a Government institution. It is my right to voice out against that which is wrong.”

He also said that the same group of people had attempted to assault him after he was threatened verbally.

Thilakaratne is a former athlete who competed in the 400m events at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA and the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in Australia. He rose to fame after winning the 400m Gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games and Bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games the same year. He went on to have an illustrious career in athletics and was later elected Chairman of the Athletics Association during the 2015-2017 period.