At an Extraordinary Sub Meeting of the Asia Rugby Executive Committee (EXCO), it was unanimously decided to ratify the decision of the EXCO at its meeting on 9 April 2022 in Thailand to impose a full and immediate membership suspension of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) until further notice.
This was after the Sports Minister issued a Gazette Notification to suspend the activities of (SLR) – the game’s local ruling body – and to hand over its day-to-day operations to the Director General of the Department of Sports Development (DSD).
The EXCO discussed the status report from the Asia Rugby delegate who was in Sri Lanka from 20 to 24 April. The delegate had met relevant stakeholders – the Sri Lanka Ministry of Youth and Sport, Sri Lanka National Olympic Committee, the suspended Sri Lanka Rugby, various club representatives and the Rugby Referees Association. A consensus was reached by all stakeholders that a fresh election is a necessity. Furthermore, the status report transpires a major concern that main stakeholders are not fairly represented in the decision-making environment.
In maintaining a sport neutrality and appropriate governance, Asia Rugby confirmed that on 29 April it sent an official letter to the Minister of Youth and Sport Thenuka Vidanagamage, revealing its desire to manage, run and conduct a fresh election which shall be called upon by the Sri Lanka National Olympic Committee.
Asia Rugby confirms that it will work with the Sri Lanka National Olympic Committee on all relevant details concerning the fresh election and will award the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the Olympic Council of Asia and World Rugby an observatory presence at the potential election to ensure appropriate transparency.
Asia Rugby expects a response from the Ministry of Youth and Sport by no later than 6 May 2022.
The EXCO decision of suspending Sri Lanka Rugby’s membership has been taken with the interest of maintaining Asia Rugby principles of Equality, Transparency and Accountability, and until the fresh election is concluded successfully all Sri Lanka Rugby representative teams and clubs will no longer be eligible to take part in any regional activities. (Asia Rugby)