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    Expert Committee Report on New Sports Act Submitted to President

    November 09, 2023

    The Expert Study Committee appointed to recommend a new Sports Act in Sri Lanka has submitted its report to President Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Committee, chaired by Mr. Jagath Fernando, has made a number of recommendations to comprehensively change the existing legal framework and administrative structure for sports in Sri Lanka.

    President Ranil Wickremesinghe is planning to submit the report of the Expert Study Committee on the Introduction of a New Sports Act in Sri Lanka to the Parliament and prepare a formal draft based on it.

    One of the primary recommendations of the Committee is to establish a National Sports Development Authority (NSDA) to regulate and supervise all sports development activities in the country. The NSDA would be responsible for formulating policies and strategies for sports development, and would have full supervision over National Sports Associations.

    The study committee report has also suggested that the National Sports Development Authority (NSDA) should be implemented to achieve eight basic objectives

    The Committee has further recommended that the NSDA should consist of 11 members, including the Secretary of the Ministry of Sports and the Chairman of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) ex officio, three outstanding professionals in different fields, two former captains of national sports teams or persons who have rendered exceptional service to sports in the country and It has also been proposed to consist of a former president of a registered National Sports Association (NSA) which is not under the National Olympic Committee, as well as three representatives nominated by the Secretaries of the three Ministries of Finance, Education and Health.

    The Expert Study Committee on the Introduction of a New Sports Act in Sri Lanka has proposed that the National Sports Development Authority (NSDA) should have a term of office of four years. The Minister of Sports would be responsible for nominating members to the NSDA, and these nominations would need to be approved by the Constitutional Council.

    The expert study committee report has also suggested that the Constitutional Council should appoint a suitable person from among these members as the chairman of the authority.

    Furthermore, to ensure minimum interference in the running of National Sports Associations in order to comply with the requirements of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other International Sports Federations, the Sports Grievance Resolution Tribunal (SGRT) comprising 10 judges with powers to resolve complaints and disputes in the field of sports was also proposed to set up. It has also been made mandatory that a complaint presented to it should be resolved by a panel of at least three judges.

    This study committee is confident that by implementing the above mentioned recommendations, it will be possible to bring significant amendments to the existing legal framework and administrative structure of the current Sports Act and to make these changes by amending the existing Sports Act No. 25 of 1973 of the National Assembly or abolishing that law. This study committee report has further indicated that it can be done by making new laws and a new bill can be prepared with legal support and advice.

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