By Susil Premalal
Suresh Subramaniam was elected as the 13th President of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) beating Rohan Fernando by six votes in the NOCSL elections – the first since 2009 – held at the Olympic House yesterday.
Subramaniam, who is the Vice-President of the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) obtained 18 of the 31 votes that were cast with Fernando, the President of the Sri Lanka Rowing Association (SLRA) receiving 12 votes. One vote was rejected.
Subramaniam replaces Hemasiri Fernando, who held the top post for 21 years.
Joseph Kenny (Yachting Association of Sri Lanka) and Major General Palitha Fernando (Athletics Association of Sri Lanka) received 18 votes and were elected as Vice-President’s, along with Asanga Seneviratne (Sri Lanka Rugby) and Sumith Edirisinghe (Sri Lanka Hockey Federation).
Incumbent Secretary General Maxwell de Silva (Judo Association of Sri Lanka) received 19 votes and was re-elected to the post, beating Preethiviraj Perera (National Association for Canoeing and Kayaking of Sri Lanka) who obtained 12 votes.
Prageeth Priyantha Perera (Weightlifting Federation of Sri Lanka) withdrew his name from the list of candidates for the post.
Retired Wing Commander Chandana Liyanage (Sri Lanka Basketball Federation) was elected as Assistant Secretary without contest, while Senaka Ranasinghe (Cycling Federation of Sri Lanka) received 17 votes and was elected as the Treasurer.
Nishantha Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka Badminton Association was elected Assistant Treasurer, receiving 17 votes.
Chanaka Hashantha (Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union), Faizal Mohammed Hussein (Sri Lanka Amateur Baseball/Softball Association) and Ajith Thamel (Sri Lanka Weightlifting Association) were elected as Committee Members.
All but one candidate contesting as part of Subramaniam’s contingent were elected and the newly-elected President said that moving forward would be a collective decision that would determine the future course of the NOCSL.
“We contested because we knew we would win, and I believe we were elected because we presented an honest plan for the NOC,” Subramaniam, who spent a majority of his schooling years at Royal College, said.
“I will not take decisions on my own, but we will make strong collective decisions moving forward.”
Results from the NOCSL Elections
President – Suresh Subramaniam (SLTA) 18,
Not elected: Rohan Fernando (SLRA) 12
Vice President – Joseph Kenny (YASL) 18, Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando (AASL) 18, Asanga Seneviratne (SLR) 17, Sumith Edirisinghe (SLHF) 16
Not elected: Dian Gomes (SLBA) 15, Dampath Fernando (HFSL) 13, Anura de Silva (FFSL) 12, Commander H. U. Silva (SLAA) 11, Chanminda Kumara Mallawarachchi (WFSL) 02
Secretary General – Maxwell de Silva (JASL) 19
Not elected: Preethiviraj Perera (NACKSL) 12, Prageeth Priyantha Perera (WFSL) – withdrew
Assistant Secretary - Rtd. Wing Com. Chandana Liyanage (SLBF) Uncontested
Kanchana Jayaratna (SLTF - Taekwondo) Withdrew
Treasurer: Senaka Ranasinghe (CASL) 17
Not elected: Shirantha Milroy Peiris (NSSFSL) 14, Gamini Jayasinghe (SLHF) withdrew
Assistant Treasurer: Nishantha Jayasinghe (SLB) 17,
Not elected: Nishantha Piyasena (MPFSL) 14
Committee: Chanaka Hashantha (SLASU) 21, Faizal Mohammed Hussein (SLABSA – baseball and softball) 17, Ajith Tamil (SLWF) 17
Not elected: S. Nalaka (SLVB) 15, Ajith Siyambalapitiya (NAFSL) 12