DIG Nimal Lewke heads ARFU
Most countries unhappy with Kiwi Secretary-General
RUGBY: DIG Nimal Lewke, who heads the elite Special Task Force (STF)
of the Sri Lanka Police, who is also the President of the Sri Lanka
Rugby Football Union (SLRFU), was appointed President of the Asian Rugby
Football Union (ARFU) at a meeting of ARFU in Hong Kong which coincided
with the Hong Kong International 7?s.
Speaking to the Sunday Observer DIG Lewke, said that there will be
certain constitutional changes of the ARFU which will be taken up in
July to be implemented from November. Also, the ARFU will in future
elect their office-bearers through votes which was an unanimous decision
of the 24 member countries.
He further said that most of the Asian countries (including Japan and
South Korea) were unhappy with New Zealander Jamie Scott as its
Secretary-General, but will continue in his post till the next annual
Lewke also said that the Asiad is to be scrapped and there will be a
system where the top five nations play in one tournament with the other
five playing in another. There is also to be a promotion/relegation
system in future.
Japan who are to represent Asia in the Rugby World Cup (RWC)
final-rounds in France in September-October requested that they (Japan)
play an Asian Barbarians side before the RWC and that each country in
the region will be given the opportunity of nominating five players each
with trials etc to be in charge of Gallaher the Development Office of
the International Rugby Board (IRB). Japan will meet all expenses for
the trials plus match, including air fare, hotel accommodation etc.
DIG Lewke also made a presentation as to the reasons why Sri Lanka
should go ahead and stage the postponed Asiad in the country from
November 3 to 10. He briefed the ARFU members about the security
situation prevailing in Sri Lanka and the reasons why the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will not target the international
He had given details of what has happened in the past and also quoted
top notch LTTE spokesman on this subject.
?There was a good response with Sid Miller, President of the IRB
sending a team to Sri Lanka later this month to liaise with the British
High Commission authorities in Colombo about the security situation etc.
It will be only after the final report is submitted to the IRB that the
decision will be made to stage the Asiad in Sri Lanka? said DIG Lewke.
Miller was an observer at the ARFU meeting earlier this month.