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Long-term sports admin officials ruffled by new gazette

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A group of officials who have remained in the sports governing bodies for years without giving others an opportunity, have become distressed following a gazette issued by Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe adding several amendments to the Sports Act.

The amendments had prevented those above 70 years of age, those who have held the office of president twice in a row, those who have held various positions for eight years and those who have been convicted of corruption charges from participating in elections for sports governing bodies.

However, it was reported that some officials who have been enjoying many foreign trips and other privileges have met with lawyers to take legal action against the sports minister.

Meanwhile, the election for Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) is scheduled to be held on the 14th and the Sports Ministry has made arrangements to conduct it according to the new regulations.

It was reported to the Sri Lanka Mirror that the decision to limit three ballots for separate leagues to one ballot has become a serious issue for some.

However, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has also sent a warning to the FFSL election.

This warning was given publicity by some media since there is a risk that Sri Lanka will be banned from international matches and will lose financial support by FIFA.

However, there is talk among those in the football industry that it is surprising that FIFA officials have not said anything about the allegations of arbitrary and unaudited expenses made by former FFSL President Jaswar Umar.

Jaswar is accused of spending $43,000 to buy tickets for the FIFA World Cup held in Qatar and not explaining what happened to those tickets.

Jaswar was found guilty during an investigation conducted by the Sports Ministry’s Special Investigation Unit for the Prevention of Offences Related to Sports over irregularities that took place during his previous tenure as the Secretary of FFSL.

According to new regulations, such a person cannot contest again. However, the Football Selection Committee has accepted Jaswar’s nomination to contest.

Sri Lankan football is currently ranked 207th among 211 countries in the world football rankings. According to many football commentators, there will be no major impact on the sport if football is banned at the international level. The only thing that will happen is the annual loss of the amount of dollars received by FIFA to the federation.

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Colombo air show and CADE 2024 exhibition postponed to next year

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The Colombo Air Show and Defence Exhibition (CADE 2024), initially set to take place from May 29 to June 2 at Galle Face and Colombo Port City, has been postponed to next year, according to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).

The SLAF stated that the decision to reschedule the event was made in response to multiple requests from international partners, defence industry stakeholders, and foreign Air Forces. This postponement aims to enhance participation and provide a more diverse experience for spectators.

The rescheduled event will now be held from February 26 to March 2, 2025, coinciding with the 74th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

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 Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrives in Sri Lanka

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The Global Peace Ambassador and Spiritual Leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon (18) for a three-day visit. He was welcomed at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake by State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon and Eastern Province Governor Senthil Thondaman.

During his stay from May 18 to 20, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will participate in an event titled ‘Ekamuthuva: An Evening of Music, Meditation and Wisdom,’ which will be held at Taj Samudra on May 19. Renowned for his global humanitarian efforts and as a peace envoy, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is also an Indian yoga guru and the founder of ‘Transcendental Meditation’.

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President leaves for Indonesia

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has left for Indonesia this morning (18) to attend the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting in Bali, at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The 10th World Water Forum is being held from May 18th to 20th in Bali, Indonesia.

This significant gathering, themed “Water for Shared Prosperity,” will convene global leaders to address pressing issues related to water management and sustainability.

President Wickremesinghe left for Indonesia on Saturday, following an invitation from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, underscoring Sri Lanka’s commitment to international cooperation on water-related challenges.

Scheduled to deliver a keynote address on May 20th, President Wickremesinghe will articulate Sri Lanka’s perspective on achieving equitable access to water resources for all, the President’s Media Division said.

During the forum, President Wickremesinghe is expected to engage in bilateral discussions, including a meeting with President Widodo, to explore avenues for collaborative action in water resource management.

His delegation, comprising senior officials from the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reflects Sri Lanka’s comprehensive approach to addressing global water issues.

President Wickremesinghe’s participation underscores Sri Lanka’s proactive role in advancing sustainable solutions to ensure water security, not only domestically but also on the global stage, the PMD said.

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