Hambantota UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa said that his two younger brothers-Yoshitha and Rohitha-who were members of the Sri Lanka Army and Navy rugger teams, were asked not to attend rugby practice without citing any reasons.
“Just a few days ago, my brothers – Rohitha and Yoshitha – were both informed, by telephone, not to attend rugby practice. No reasons were given. They were just asked not to come,” Mr.Rajapaksa said in his personal blog.
Earlier media reports said Yoshitha and Rohitha were to be removed from the captaincy of the Rugby teams of the Navy and Army respectively, on the instructions of a highly placed official.
Mr. Rajapaksa also said that his family decided to respect the request and not to question the decision ‘regardless of how unjust it seems.’
“Not wanting to tarnish the sport through any potential conflict, we took a decision to simply respect the request and not question the decision regardless of how unjust it seems. Though deeply hurtful, we felt this would be the best decision we could make at this time,” he said.
The full statement issued by Mr. Rajapaksa
Having begun playing around the age of six, we played during school, during college, captained university teams and finally represented Sri Lanka internationally. In addition to enjoying the game, in recent years, we also tried to do whatever we could to elevate the sport in Sri Lanka for younger generations that will follow us in the years to come. In this effort, we brought down internationally-acclaimed rugby players to Sri Lanka and worked to get access for our players to obtain playing experience abroad.
In all honesty, we simply enjoyed playing the game. And as we began to reach the final stages of our sports careers, we felt like we should try to give back to a sport that had given us all so much. I think and hope that these efforts would have made at least a small contribution to the development of the game.
Today, we’re incredibly saddened to see that the bitter, vengeful politics that took over this country after elections earlier this month, have even made its way to the sports sector. Just a few days ago, my brothers – Rohitha and Yoshitha – were both informed, by telephone, not to attend rugby practice. No reasons were given. They were just asked not to come.
Not wanting to tarnish the sport through any potential conflict, we took a decision to simply respect the request and not question the decision regardless of how unjust it seems. Though deeply hurtful, we felt this would be the best decision we could make at this time.
For some, rugby was also a part of politics. But for the three of us, it was the sport we loved.
On behalf of both of my brothers and myself, I want express our deepest gratitude to all those who supported us during our rugby careers. I think you all know how sincerely we loved the game. And if given the opportunity, we will never hesitate for a moment to contribute to the development of the sport in any way that we can.
Comments - 86
jay Saturday, 31 January 2015 08:55 PM
for sports this is allowed and you need not be a member in the armed forces
lanka putha Friday, 06 February 2015 01:25 PM
This is because his father became the the head of the country after he left school
Charith Sunday, 01 February 2015 06:00 AM
Not wanting to tarnish the sport through any potential conflict are you kidding me you and your brothers ruined SL Rugby. You people used to argue with ref if the game is not going your way make unnecessary fights with other players and most of all ran the whole game as a family affair. Lucky that none of you are good at cricket. Otherwise thats the end of that game also. Hope now rugby in SL flourish since you and your brothers are out of the picture. via DM Android App
Anticleon Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:15 PM
Nobody asked them to COME to practice either, when their dad was the boss.
Deshapriya Friday, 06 February 2015 01:39 PM
Do you sincerely believe you and your brothers deserved to be appointed captains? do you sincerely believe that there was no favoritism? If you played fair then you can ask others to, right now you are being a cry baby and being hypocritical.
janaka Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:19 PM
From heros to zeros.anyway thoes guys r not belongs to either army or navy.mr tried to fool people leting his son to joined navy.just to show that he also offeringA child to the forces like other parents did.
Tharaka Sunday, 01 February 2015 07:52 AM
Just recall how they got into the side......thoththa baba
Justice Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:30 PM
Remember the time Rohitha assaulted the referee, but no action was taken against him because of his corrupt daddy? Finally we see some justice
gee Sunday, 01 February 2015 09:00 AM
Sportsman, my foot!
SidathB Friday, 06 February 2015 01:55 PM
Yahpalanaye Raha.Truth will come to light and certainly find its way.
Vengadasalam kumar Sunday, 01 February 2015 09:16 AM
Try to evaluate and see whether your brothers were in fact qualified to lead respective teams.
SidathB Friday, 06 February 2015 02:00 PM
More neutral and well balanced comments comments compared with most of previous emotional (and idiotic) comments
sam Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:56 PM
DO YOU REMEMBER THAT THE MOST QUALIFIED PLAYERS WERE DEPRIVED OF THEIR CHANCES TO PLAY FOR THE TEAMS
Don Don Saturday, 31 January 2015 10:01 PM
Now you are made to taste your own medicine.
Anticleon Sunday, 01 February 2015 09:58 AM
Nobody asked them to COME to practice either, when they were in power.Anyway, now some really talented players can take part in the game.
NonResident Sunday, 01 February 2015 10:23 AM
Who introduced the regulation for Servicemen to play Rugby for the Services?
Bala Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:14 PM
Please inform us which universities each of you 3 captained.
MADU Sunday, 01 February 2015 10:58 AM
FATHER PLAYED A GOOD GAME THAT IS ENOUGH FOR 50 YEARS.
Amila.G Sunday, 01 February 2015 11:03 AM
Dictorship has ended, in every Nick and Cornor of the land . There is peace in the air.
Joseph Atta Friday, 06 February 2015 02:29 PM
We can see the real democracy in SL now. Before 8th Jan 2015, no one can express genuine views! A white van would have been followed. Our SL ismoving in the correct direction with this president.
Lakmal Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:21 PM
We never ever voted for this kind of CHANGE. It sad to see the political revenge in sport. Rajapaksa trio are best rugger players in the country and they did their best to elevate the sport. Very Sad
ashok Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:22 PM
If the rule says that one should be a member of the armed forces to represent the respective teams then the Law is common to all Citizens unless otherwise specified that anyone can Play in any team of their choice
pyum Saturday, 31 January 2015 10:31 PM
This is what happens when you abuse powerGood lesson
GANDU Sunday, 01 February 2015 11:07 AM
REALY WHO IS YOUR REAL FATHER?
mithra Saturday, 31 January 2015 10:34 PM
Everything this family members have got were through the back door.
Amila.G Sunday, 01 February 2015 11:15 AM
You and your family should be a SHAMED to comment on any thing .
Amir Sunday, 01 February 2015 11:19 AM
Why do they need reasons? obviously there are much much better players than them.
Gerandine Thursday, 05 February 2015 07:14 PM
Pathetic and totally arrogant and absolutely no shame. We have to thank God each day for removing this despicable people from our beautiful country.
Muththa Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:37 PM
My dear what goes round comes around, probably this is only a leeetle bit of it !
Yahampth Saturday, 31 January 2015 01:38 PM
Sad state of affairs.
Thakshila Hettiaratchy Sunday, 01 February 2015 11:39 AM
He shall not come into power even after 40 years.......
Lankaboy Saturday, 31 January 2015 01:50 PM
Since your brother never be a member of the army how can he be in the army rugby team? And the other one also resigned from Navy . So there is no reason for you to release a statement
Bala Saturday, 31 January 2015 10:42 PM
May be "silly" but they really enjoyed themselves at the expense of the more deserving
Bala Saturday, 31 January 2015 10:45 PM
They must atone for their sin of enjoying unearned glory. The statement shows how arrogant they are still.
Draconian Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:43 PM
Feel the pain now.
sports lover Sunday, 01 February 2015 12:29 PM
let me put matters in to perspective. initially you dont have to be in the forces to represent it you can play for the clubforces on contract basis. secondly youshitha and rohitha are not captain quality. namal is different he is a much better player who has leadership skills. he captained the school and had a good season unlike yoshitha who was made captain of the school team for name sake. you guys did alot for the sport like the carlton league but i also remember yoshitha running behind a foreign player and when he makes it to the try line he had to pass it to yoshitha who scores the try and in the end awarded the best player trophy. to keep sports clean play hard play fair and leave a legacy behind not captaining teams when your below par. via DM Android App
Duminda Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:50 PM
Ane Hari ma Hari Paw Wade. Sansare Duka thamai yaluwa!.
siva Sunday, 01 February 2015 01:13 PM
Its a game alright but play it fairly not hanging on to your fathers power.
patriot Saturday, 31 January 2015 10:53 PM
very heartwarming comment. Jayawewa.
Lima Sunday, 01 February 2015 01:18 PM
WHY NOT HORA RUGBY GUYS PUNISHED. I NEED THIS TO BE PUBLISHED AND PUNISHED. IF NOT PUBLIC WILL PUNISH SOON
Daya Weerasinghe Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:54 PM
As a Buddhist he should understand .....this is Karma...!
Horri Jimonis Saturday, 31 January 2015 11:07 PM
What to do their father
Wise Man - King of Kings Saturday, 31 January 2015 02:00 PM
These makes you to understand the pain of the people have undergone in the past. When headache comes only you know what it is. Take courage and take these as lessons in life and suppose if you become the head of state in about 40 years time. Be a simple Head of State understanding the people of all class.
lionheart Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:56 PM
Rugby is a minor issue when the entire nation watched in disbelief what happened to General Sarath Fonseka. Now you are crying about a trivial rugby game. First of all let me also correct you. You guys played for Sri Lanka because of the power you wielded and not because of your ability. No player represents his national team for 15 minutes just to satisfy his personal ego. But you did on several occasions (15 minutes of playing time only because you were unfit).
pubudu Saturday, 31 January 2015 11:08 PM
Anyway it was your father who appointed them. SL was the only country in the world, where the President in person appointed team captains !
J Palitha Saturday, 31 January 2015 11:10 PM
Politicians cannot force only their family members to take part in sports activities. Why whether others blood is black. Get lost Namal.
magodisthuma Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:56 PM
Aney pow..sniff sniff crocodile tears
Maya Saturday, 31 January 2015 11:11 PM
In your time of your daddy, know one dares even to complain about their kith and kins plights.You are lucky that your father and uncle is not there in the throne for you to be courting trouble to complain about decisions.
Sri Lankan Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:00 PM
Yes, be a simple Head of State without giving the majority of people a Headache.
Vijith Pieterz Saturday, 31 January 2015 11:13 PM
No rugger for them, let them drive your Lemo..
iemerald Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:01 PM
BOOMERANG EFFECT MATEY!
Kiris Baba Amaray Saturday, 31 January 2015 11:15 PM
No Rugger to Rajapakshe family, let them play Jil ball... (marble)
kalu Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:09 PM
yes you brought foreign players,you also brought foreign women to grace some occasions,you sure have enjoyed while corrupting the young
Be Fair Saturday, 31 January 2015 02:14 PM
Lot of people did respect and kept quiet when you guys also took decisions like this. Glad you realise what it means not to act like that
Russell Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:19 PM
you never mentioned that u assaulted a referee is that rugby too
Truth First Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:22 PM
We have seen the games you have played and how you treated the tough judges and the referees, all because your father was in power. At least try to correct your mistakes and learn from it.
Harshi Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:34 PM
Namal says " ... we felt like we should try to give back to a sport that had given us all so much. - " Instead of the word sport, if you say "country", that should be the guiding motto of the Rajapkse clan and their cohorts.
banda Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:41 PM
SADDDDDD. vERY VERY SAD..This is soooo unfair.Get Wimal weerawansha to immideately start a fast unto death campaign at the rugby grounds !!
Mike Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:48 PM
Oh.. Just Shut-up!!!!
palle Saturday, 31 January 2015 11:33 PM
They call this good governance
mike Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:48 PM
Unfortunately he does not have the requisite qualifications nor a natural aptitude to become the Head of State now or in 40 years time!
podi malli Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:59 PM
Well said lankaboy!!.. Neither of them are in the army or the navy..so why release statements to gain sympathy from public?. But the sad thing is still there are people who are stupid enough to sympathize these people and these rajapakses being the shrewed, cunning politicians knows exactly how to play the game..father like son!!
Philip Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:00 PM
Look who is talking ???? They did not follow any rules or guidelines, they only wanted to win a any cost. This meant even corrupt practices
dona Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:00 PM
Now you people realise the agonies the normal citizen of Sri lanka went through. You all just did not care for them.
Nad Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:01 PM
Check how they got in to the teams at first place..You have the answer for yourself!
Ruggerite Sunday, 01 February 2015 01:10 AM
Namal, the Army and Navy decisions reflect that better players were denied a chance in order to accommodate your 2 brothers who were very ordinary players. At least now, the best players will represent Sri Lanka. Bilal Hassan and Sajith Saranga are far superior than your brother, but your brother was not only preferred over them, but also given the captaincy!
Ruggerite Sunday, 01 February 2015 01:18 AM
Of course this is good governance - giving the best players the chance and not to half-baked, incompetent ruggerites who use their political clout even in a sport like rugger. Shame.
Naresh Sunday, 01 February 2015 01:21 AM
Why could not captain the school team ? You become a good player after leaving the school ?
Aiya Malli Sunday, 01 February 2015 01:23 AM
NAMAL PAU DA KIYANNE, WHEN YOU WERE RIDING HIGH WITH THE NIL BALAKAYA, YOU WERE ACTING EXACTLY AS THE JUNIOR PRESIDENT. YOUR WORD WAS THE LAW. WE REMEMBER HOW YOU MOVED THE HLL AND EARTH TO GET A ILLEGAL THING DONE. NOW THAT YOU HAVE FALLEN INTO THE MOST HELPLESS HAPLESS POSITION YOU LAMENT. REALISE PUTHA PEOPLE LOVED YOU, BUT DUE TO APPACHHIS CURSE ON THE LAND, OKKOMA GIYA.
Naz Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:20 PM
Tarnish the image. Magae Katte. You brothers have done irreparable damage to the sport.
Sunanda jayasekera Sunday, 01 February 2015 01:43 AM
I hope rich or poor the talented will b selected to represent Sports in Sri lanka in the future free of politics. God bless SRi LANKA
Mason Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:27 PM
Go back to the time when your father took vengence on General Sarath Fonseka and Ex Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. These are visiting back your family.
Fair N Square Sunday, 01 February 2015 01:56 AM
By appointing 2 sons of the President as Captains, which rightly was deserved by others BUT taken away cox their DAD was the PRESIDENT... does this sound like good governance to you? Modaya... so long ppl like u exist in this country... I can sell a bridge that I have for sale in New York to u in SL...
sunda Sunday, 01 February 2015 02:15 AM
When they ask not to come they could have given the correct reason otherwise MS will become follower of MR. via DM Android App
Sinnavi Sunday, 01 February 2015 02:24 AM
Namal, when your father was President all of you enjoyed life of luxury. You cannot deny this. Time has come for others to get a chance.
Sarath Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:49 PM
Aney Pauw Ahinsaka Lamai
Rad Rav Monday, 02 February 2015 10:19 AM
I think they should be allowed, nay forced, to play real rugby (and get tackled even). Then we can judge if they really posses any talent or skill.
Cynthia Monday, 02 February 2015 01:25 PM
ha ha ha haaaaah ! carzy.
Namal Baba Friday, 06 February 2015 09:03 AM
Dear Namal, Ask your brother Yoshitha to come and join the Nevy with due respect and then do the bid talking.I dont know whether you know, that your lovingly brother Yoshitha has to pay Millions to the Nevy for his retirement prior to your father loosing the presidential election.
JackReacher Sunday, 01 February 2015 03:09 AM
you are a real cry baby namal.
S.Sriranjan Saturday, 31 January 2015 08:19 PM
Because your Dad no more the President and the players should have the necessary qualifications!!!
Hadam Saturday, 31 January 2015 08:40 PM
Its very pity to see why would politics would interfere with sports, these are sill youngsters give them a break. We should now focus on the better future for country not these petty things. God bless Lanka.
Upul Sunday, 01 February 2015 04:27 AM
Just think what you guys did when you were in power. Did you give the most suitable the position he deserve or did you give it to whom you wanted? Now face the reality without being a cry baby.
Indu Jaya Sunday, 01 February 2015 04:37 AM
There are many capable players than them to hold captaincy of rugger teams. These guys can play rugger only but not up to the mark.
sri Saturday, 31 January 2015 08:53 PM
Very good comment !
brainmaster Tuesday, 03 February 2015 12:21 PM
Congratulations. This is a very pointed comment and the most funny one of this page.
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.