Minister Arjuna Ranatunga attending a training camp “Save Sports in Sri Lanka” on 12 June said that the former president had to take responsibility for the ruination of sport in the country. He said this when he attended the training camp held at the Bandaranaike MV Veyangoda by the Save Sports in Sri Lanka organization and National Sports Foundation. Senior athletic coaches Sunil Gunawardena and Yogananda Wijesundara also contributed attending the camp. Addressing the camp Arjuna Ranatunga further claimed that it was not unusual not to see anyone there to welcome sports people returning to the country after winning international events. Even this was a debacle faced by sports people today.
“Sports became so politicised in the country that politicians used pictures taken of them with sports stars at political meetings to win elections. Do not forget this was a country where sportsmen went to represent sports events conducted by other countries while not attending the country’s own international events getting permission from the former president of the country for it. And that was the saddest day of my life because that was the time I was the president of the cricket board. I pleaded not to allow them to do this to stop a tour the team was to attend to allow them to take part in a local tournament of another country. I pleaded with the then sports minister and the former presidents many times not to do this and they just did not listen to me. I feel that is the day that cricket in this country began its ruination. What should we do now – we must learn from the past mistakes and begin to build the future now” said minister Ranatunga.
At this camp at the Bandaranaike MV Veyangoda, training sessions for cricket, volleyball, netball, football, shooting, boxing, track and field, baseball, TT, chess, karate and wrestling were conducted. In addition a health clinic
too was hosted with Doctor Anura Ambarage from the Diabetes Centre Kandy