Badminton becomes can of worms as provincial associations flout election laws

by Ravi Nagahawatte

The Western Province Badminton Association (WPBA) has sought legal advice in dealing with the suspension imposed on them by the Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA).

WPBA President L.R Ariyananda told The Island that the WPBA was in the process of replying a letter sent to them by the SLBA which includes five charges against them. In one of the charges, the SLBA has found fault with the WPBA President Ariyananda for bringing badminton to disrepute when airing views during interviews with the media. Another charge against the WPBA is not postponing a tournament which the WPBA hosted despite instructions from the SLBA to postpone it. The SLBA has made three other charges against the WPBA.

Ariyananda said that he had drafted a letter, after consulting his lawyer, and it would be sent to the SLBA soon. ‘We have responded to all five charges,’ said Ariyananda.

It is also learnt that two provincial badminton associations have planned their Annual General Meetings in a questionable manner.

The Central Province Badminton Association (CPBA) is alleged to have conducted its AGM without sending notice to some of the leading clubs in the province. The Kandy District Badminton Association (KDBA) claims that several clubs (Schools included because they too are considered clubs) have been at a disadvantage because the AGM hasn’t been conducted in keeping with rules and regulations. It is also alleged that the accounts for the year have not been circulated to members. Those victimised have already written to the Sports Minister to conduct an inquiry and also request the AGM held to be termed null and void.

Some clubs affiliated to the Southern Province Badminton Association (SPBA) too are crying foul that they have not received notice 14 days prior to the elections. It is alleged that some powerful members of the SPBA are planning to elect the members they fancy to the SPBA council at the AGM. A source from one of the clubs that have not received notice of the elections said that the SPBA had conducted a tournament recently to meet the qualifications to be an active provincial association, but had sent invitations only to a few selected clubs. Clubs which are inactive are stripped of their voting rights at the provincial association AGMs. The SPBA AGM is scheduled for December 30.

The sport of badminton has made news within this calendar year (2009/2010) for all the wrong reasons. The Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) is alleged to have set the trend for the rot to set in with allegations against top badminton officials for sending hordes of players abroad to contest tournaments, disregarding selection procedures. It is believed that the present badminton officials have little or no concern at all about national pride and send large number of players abroad if they can pay their passage. It is reported that one female player was accompanied on a joy ride and played no part in one of the leading tournaments Sri Lanka contested.

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