Abiding by a FINA directive, the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) has decided to postpone its Annual General Meeting and election of office bearers, scheduled for 15 May, and informed the Minister of Tourism and Sports of its intention.
In a continuing stream of communication over the autonomy of the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU), FINA on 11 May issued SLASU a directive and informed the Minister of Tourism and Sports to postpone the elections until the Ministry revised the Sports Law and/or its regulations within the IOC-imposed time period of two months. FINA has also warned that non-adherence to its directive will cause the FINA Executive to take further measures.
“We would like to respect the Sports Law but our international affiliation defines our existence. Further actions by FINA will eventually affect the athletes and therefore we had to take this decision in their best interest,” said SLASU General Secretary Akhry Ameer on the body’s decision.
As the national federation, the activities of SLASU are structured on the rules and regulations laid out by FINA on the conduct of the above sports while its technical officials are trained by FINA for its implementation.
This year, by virtue of this affiliation, its athletes stand to benefit by way of fully-funded participation at the World Championships, to be held in July, a FINA-approved Olympic Qualification Trial in Sri Lanka, a full-time one-year FINA Olympic training scholarships for two swimmers, the Junior World Championships in August and the Asian Age Group Championships in October for all sports, among other regional tournaments.
In the last six months, FINA has also funded and provided international resource persons for an Advanced Swimming Coaches Clinic for 40 coaches, a Diving Judges Development Clinic and Advanced Swimming Technical Officials Clinic in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, the IOC, in an email to all international federations of Olympic sports, has instructed them to assess the specific situation of their respective national federations in Sri Lanka and as a matter of principle suggested the postponement of elections, while on 24 April 2015 it stipulated a maximum period of two moths to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in which to revise the current sports regulations before conducting elections.
SLASU has also proposed to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to conduct the elections on 21 August, allowing time to serve fresh notice to the membership, provided that the sports law and/or regulations are revised within this period.
SLASU is the national affiliate federation of FINA, the international federation for the aquatic disciplines of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronised swimming, open water swimming and high diving and is registered with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. It is also an affiliate of the Asian Amateur Swimming Federation (AASF) and the South Asian Swimming Federation (SASF).