The minister made this comment during the Cabinet briefing held yesterday (01), in response to media queries regarding a video clip that is being circulated in the media on the inclusion of marathon runner Niluka Geethani Rajasekara into the national squad.
The minister said Niluka had been paid Rs. 60,000 per months until last July. However, he said although it was required to attain a timing of two hours and 39 minutes for participation in the Commonwealth games, she has failed to reach this level. He said although Hiruni Wijeratne who is far ahead of Geethani too had not got the opportunity to participate in the Commonwealth games, she is not crying about it.
Niluka Geethani’s trainer is her husband and in such instances the couple could share the money, said the minister, adding that they had to provide all facilities for her husband as well to participate in the Asian Marathon championships to be held in China.
The minister added that he has no issue with regard to her trainers but said no athlete who has not attained the required standard will be allowed to participate by force in international meets.
He pointed out that there is no point in crying on the streets about not being given the opportunity without first reaching the required standards. There is a group of talented athletes that should be given the opportunity he said, condemning the statement by Niluka Jayasekara who had cursed the Sri Lankan team participating in the Rio Olympics.