5.4 Sports

We will look into sporting activities not simply to partake in the spirit of sports but also to build up relationships with the international community and put Sri Lanka on the map to benefit the country economically. It is not an exaggeration to state that when in government we will use sporting activities as a precursor for investment and trade relationships.

Therefore, we will review supporting structures in every sport that is currently available in Sri Lanka. Sporting bodies will be independent of the government of the day and decisions should be made without fear or favour. Any corrupt activities or irregularities can be referred to IBAC and will be dealt with the full force of the law. All sporting bodies responsible for the selection process should be completely transparent and geared towards bringing the best talent to the fore.

The introduction of new sports should also be considered if it helps to build up relationships with other countries. Sri Lanka needs to develop sports for fraternal, political, economic and strategic reasons. For example, sport is an ideal way to build up a strong relationship with Australia and in particular with Victoria by introducing Australian Rules Football (ARF) in Sri Lanka. Talented Lankan ARF players might have the opportunity to play for Australian clubs. There will be talented Australian players going out to Sri Lanka for ARF related work thus building up mutually beneficial relationships. It will definitely take Sri Lanka-Australia relationship to greater heights.

The introduction of baseball could even take a similar twist as Americans are fond of baseball similar to Victorians believing in ARF as their religion.

The structures put in place to induce NRSL communities to contribute for the well-being of their homeland could play an important role helping out in this process.

If not all sports, at least majority of them should be brought into a reputable standard so that international and local media rights could be obtained.

As sport is a global business, sending a strong anti-corruption message within and through sport may be of help in the fight against corruption in sports worldwide. All sports bodies and events should be organised while respecting human rights, labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption requirements. We will take strong anti-corruption measures such as, for example, all sport organisations to include transparency, accountability, integrity and democracy in their day-to-day work and internal compliance systems.

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