President's uncle loses BCC presidency bid

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 March 1999, 18:37 GMT]
Mr. Clifford Ratwatte, the Sri Lankan President's uncle who is also the younger brother of the country's ailing Prime Minister, was defeated at the election held this morning for the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL).

The former President of the board Mr.Thilanga Sumathipala was elected its President.

A group of thugs had assulted Mr.Sumathipala following the defeat of Mr.Clifford Ratwatte.

The attack was condemned by Sri Lanka's leading sports personalities and many members of the BCCSL.

The election was considered crucial by a powerful coterie of the ruling PA which, according to a section of the Colombo press, had lobbied to make the President's uncle run for the presidency of the BCCSL.

Analysts had said earlier that among Sri Lanka's teeming cricket fans who are also voters, the election of the President's uncle to the prestigious post could have helped boost the ruling party's fortunes at the crucial provincial council elections.

However, according to the Sunday Leader, an independent English Weekly, senior cabinet ministers had objected to the candidature of Mr.Clifford Ratwatte on the grounds that his defeat could reflect on the PA at the provincial polls on April 6.

Political analysts said that the attack on Thilanga Sumathipala could compound the situation further.


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