26 April, 2018

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Senior Rugby Players Avoid National Team

Mahinda Rajapaksa and his sons play rugby

By Saroj Pathirana -BBC Sinhala service –
A group of Sri Lanka’s most senior national rugby players are staying away from the national team after being overlooked for the captaincy.

The unprecedented decision was taken after the President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son, Yoshitha, was appointed captain in February for the HSBC Five Nation rugby Asiad in the Philippines.

Yoshitha Rajapaksa (C) was appointed national captain overlooking many senior players

Two of the senior players, Fazil Marija and Roshan Weerarathne of Kandy Sports Club (Kandy SC) are playing in New Zealand while the national currently tours Philippines.

The former vice captain Marija is currently the most senior national rugby football player in Sri Lanka.

‘Traitors’

“I can’t say whether Marija was disappointed for being overlooked for the captaincy but obviously there are reasons for him to be disappointed,” says Malik Samarawickrama, the trustee of the Kandy SC.

‘Traitors’

“I can’t say whether Marija was disappointed for being overlooked for the captaincy but obviously there are reasons for him to be disappointed,” says Malik Samarawickrama, the trustee of the Kandy SC.

“He has been playing for the country for eight years and is the most suitable to be appointed the captain in my opinion,” he told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya.

Former captain Pradeep Liyanage, Gayan Weerarathne Shan Wijesinghe and Dilshan Lewke are among the others who have decided to stay away from the national team for various reasons.

Former vice captain Marija is currently being trained in New Zealand

Writing in Ravaya newspaper, journalist Tiran Kumara Bangamaarachchi says the “courageous decision” might even mark the end of national career for many of the players.

Addressing media before the national team’s departure for Philippines, new captain Yoshitha Rajapaksa has described the players who stayed away from the team as “traitors.”

“I view the decision by certain senior rugby players to play for other countries or take rest instead of playing for the country as a treacherous act,” Rajapaksa, a young naval officer, said.

But Mr Samarawickrama, a strongman of the main opposition United National party (UNP), says both Marija and Weerarathne were given prior permission by Sri Lanka Rugby Rugby Union (SLRFU) to travel to New Zealand.

“Any player has a fundamental right of deciding whether to play for the country,” Malik Samarawickrama told BBC Sinhala service.

“And how can Yoshitha describe them as traitors when he himself returned from the team just before the crucial final game against Singapore to take part in a car race in Colombo,” he questioned.

BBC Sandeshaya could not contact Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage or SLRFU president Asanga Senevirathne despite repeated attempts.

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Latest comments

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    The Brits used the word “rebels” and 20th century witnessed the word “terrorists” which we Sri Lankans used until the end of LTTE and today the word “traitors” have replaced. One’s own mind cannot be fooled.

  • 0
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    Difficult to interpret the words in today’s context Dr. M coz the words are now interchangeable. Who is a traitor? One who does not play or one who accepts a position that is undeserved? This applies to all playing fields of Sri Lanka today not only Rugby & Sports.

  • 1
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    Sri Lanka today has become the Sick Man of Asia, and the asshole of the sub continent. Sad.

  • 1
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    I better not comment here because i am not a Rugby fan.From what i hear the Kandy fellows have been playing Mafia Rugby for sometime.Anyway they are advised to follow the examples set by Ranathunge,Jayasuriya,Sangakkara,Jayawardena and Dilshan.Of course how can we forget Olympic medalist Susanthika who was brave enough to face all sorts of challenges?Rugby is not a game for sissies!

    • 1
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      Thanks for articulating in a single last line //Rugby is not a game for sissies!// what you said in the first sentence //i am not a Rugby fan//. At times, you are communicating, MAX.

      It is a very simple question by Malik S. Why did Junion Rajapakse, abandon the team in Singapore and returned home? He is a fake Naval Officer, who took that position with all the publicity, only to be given a scholarship by overlooking all his seniors and processes.

      No wonders MAX is the only one here not to see the double standard.

      • 0
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        Rohan,
        You have a talent of interpreting comments to your own advantage.GTF would love to obtain your services.Appuhamy,Karolis,Babapullai,Kandasamy living far away from Colombo are not Rugby fans.Does it mean that they are sissies?Then how about your own”Velu”?Are you trying to tell me that Velu was a sissy?What are these rumors circulating regarding Malik?Embarrassing,no!
        And now to our self appointed Kandian Mafia,I was referring to only former Srilankan skippers.Elsewhere on this blog i have commented on Murali.When Murali was No balled by those crooked Aussies,we didn’t even hear a murmur from the so called human rights activists.Instead we have the same HR $$$ Kakkas scampering to glorify Bomba Gunda.Damned fraudsters!
        Kandy had been hijacking players from Colombo.No wonder they are the champs.If Yoshitha had been a Perera or Suppaiya no one would have cried foul.Anyway leave me alone.I’m not interested in a game involving an arecanut shaped ball.

        • 0
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          Max:
          The moment you are exposed for the stupid a..e you are without any knowledge of rugby whatsoever, you want to be “left alone.! While they say, “The more you trample s..t, the more it spreads,” people like you deserve to be trampled!

    • 0
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      if they have raped a girl you will say I’m not interested in girls :D

  • 0
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    Dear Max Silva.
    After saying I better not comment, you come out with hearsay. Do you know how many times Kandy won the Rugby championship during the last decade?. You allege Kandyans play Mafia Rugby.What is the reason for your omitting Muttiah Muralitharan. Is he also a Mafia from Kandy or a Traitor?

  • 0
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    Unfortunately, it seems that this forum has been hijacked by a few, who try to justify all the wrong doings of our government. Yoshitha maybe a good player but there will come a time for him to take on the captaincy. Side lining the senior players to take credit from the President by appointing his son as Captain may well be the beginning of the end for Sri Lankan rugby.

  • 0
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    “uneducated uncultured rascals” and “Canaveral of fools” :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

  • 0
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    When this chap was leading the St Thomas team, other teams had to play against 16 players; some refs were disallowing opposition tries and applying the law in a manner not too different to the present SL field.

    • 0
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      Oh oh oh… Did anyone dare tackling YoSHITha?

  • 0
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    Cricket is a Gentleman’s game. See what has happened after the rowdies taking the game over, it is thoroughly corrupt. Match fixing, players accepting money etc. Then Rugger is a Rowdies game, yet again played by Gentlemen. One can imagine what will happen to Rugger as well with time, with the biggest rogues in society taking the game over.

    • 0
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      //Then Rugger is a Rowdies game//

      Rugby is popularly known as Thugby.

  • 0
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    NEWS FLASH:RUGBY,Srilanka beat Chinese Taipei by 36-8.Any comments from our Srilanka bashers?

  • 0
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    Anyone who is not with the this rogue clan are traitors or pro LTTE, a stale song sung by Max Silva.

  • 0
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    royal clowns

  • 0
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    But that ball is out of shape. Did anybody notice that? And why the hell he is holding and running? I mean the goal keeper should stay near the wicket. Right?

  • 0
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    If All the SL Rugby Players are Available for Selection, Yoshitha R. Hardly will Find Any Place to be in Starting Lineup of 15 Players !!! Couple of Years Ago Yoshitha R Toured with SL Team as Stand By Player & Returned to Country at the Middle of the Tour Due to Some Disagreements with Team Management, And Now He has been Made to Lead the Team !!!

  • 0
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    So Rajapakshas hold the ultimate right to determine ones patriotism and treachery.

  • 0
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    Interesting comments. As a former rugby player in my opinion, the individual player has a choice when selected, if he wishes to play for the National team. A captain is usually selected from the most senior player who excells in yhe field. It is unfortunate to note that politics has brushed its venom into Sri Lankan rugby.
    A Captain has to be respected by the team for the team to play with passion, if a Captain does not desrve to be at the helm of the team, well the best players will stay away.

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