Minister of Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa says he has informed the National Olympic Committee to explain why Sri Lanka did not receive a uniform with the national symbol, unlike other nations.
Minister Rajapaksa speaking in Parliament today responded to allegations levelled by Parliamentarian Hesha Withanage, over social media claims that Sri Lanka was not clad in uniform with the national flag during respective events.
MP Withanage questioned why the National Olympic Committee ignored Sri Lanka to a point where they failed to provide Lankan athletes with a basic requirement such as a uniform to compete in the games.
The Sports Minister stressed for the first time the government provided Rs.3 million to athletes who qualified for the games and Rs.2 million to those who were selected via a wildcard. In addition, Rs.1 million was also given to the athlete who trained the Olympians.
Minister Rajapaksa also noted that the athletes were flown in business class while also paying them a daily allowance of 40 dollars.
He said the Olympic Committee was responsible for providing athletes uniforms, but did not do so in some cases as athletes requested to participate in their usual clothing.
Minister Rajapaksa stressed Sri Lankan athletes have no strict code of conduct and added he will table a proposal in Parliament in January in this regard.
Minister Rajapaksa stressed a long-term plan is in place to raise Lankan athletes to international Olympic standards and ensure they win medals at games.
He said certain athletes are already training overseas as part of the plan to develop athletics in Sri Lanka.
Minister Rajapaksa stressed they have identified sports such as Rifle Shooting, Archery and Weightlifting in which five athletes are already overseas training targeting the games in 2024 and 2028.